Ms. 45: Abel Ferrara's "Feminist" Revenge Fantasy
Director Abel Ferrara—best-known for his macho, violent, cult-worshipped exploitation flicks about the mean streets of late-1970s to late-'80s New York City (The Driller Killer, King of New York, Bad Lieutenant)—has a creepy cameo in Ms. 45. Only five minutes and 16 seconds into the film, Ferrara, looking perfectly "street thug" and wearing a shiny plastic mask on his face, jumps out of an alley and attacks a mute woman named Thana (played by doe-eyed actress Zoë Lund) who's walking home from work. He rapes her right there, in broad daylight, and sends her on down the sidewalk.
After some silent sobbing (she's mute, remember!), Thana wearily returns home to her apartment, only to find (zoinks!) a robber hiding inside. When the robber discovers Thana doesn't have any cash (or a voice to scream with), he decides to rape her (double-triple-zoinks!), too.
Even in the older, meaner, pre-Giuliani New York, it's hard to believe that some shy ghost of a woman, who works ever-so-silently as a seamstress, could be raped by two different creeps in just one afternoon. It's even harder to believe that she could crack the rapey-robber-dude in the head with an iron so hard that it would kill him (or that she'd have the balls to cut him into pieces in her bathtub using just a bread knife).
BUT! In an exploitation flick, you must believe the unbelievable. Ferrara's 1981 "feminist" take on a vengeful, vigilante murder spree has recently been restored and released for 2013. Can a modern audience survive Thana's rape scene(s) (or all the wailing saxophone music)? Will they try to believe she's such a killer shot with a .45 caliber handgun? Or will they simply be satiated with her much-deserved vengeance (and/or how sexy she looks in a nun's habit)? Gotta go for see yourself.