Ms. 45 – Angel of Vengeance (1981)

Ms. 45 - Angel of Vengeance (1981)

Taglines: She’s number one… with a bullet. Know her name.

In Manhattan, Thana is a timid and mute woman that works as a seamstress in the fashion industry and spends most of her idle time at home. One night, she gets raped in an alley while going back home after hours and when she arrives at home, she gets raped again by another criminal. However, she reacts and bludgeons the assaulter to death with a flatiron.

The disturbed Thana loses her sanity and uses a .45 caliber pistol to shoot men on the streets of New York. She dresses suggestively and roams the streets alone, wreaking vengeance upon anyone who tries to take advantage of her. Eventually, her secret life overflows into her regular life in the fashion industry.

Ms. 45, also known as Angel of Vengeance, is a 1981 American exploitation thriller film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Zoë Tamerlis Lund. Inspired by films such as 1973’s Thriller – A Cruel Picture and 1974’s Death Wish, the film is a rape and revenge story about Thana, a mute woman who becomes a misandristic spree killer after she is raped twice in one day when going home from work.

It was critically maligned on its theatrical release, but is now generally highly regarded among fans of underground and independent film. It was acquired by Alamo Drafthouse Films in October 2013 and remastered in HD from the original negatives. The distributor released the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy in March 2014.

About the Story

While walking home from work, Thana, a mute seamstress in New York City’s Garment District, is raped at gunpoint in an alley by a mysterious, masked attacker. She survives and makes her way back to her apartment, where she encounters a burglar and is raped a second time. Thana, her name an allusion to Greek god of death Thanatos, hits this second assailant with a small sculpture then bludgeons him to death with an iron, and carries his body to the bathtub. She goes to work the next day, and after encountering working with an iron, watching her boss Albert rip a shirt off a mannequin, she goes into shock state, which worries her co-workers. However, when she looks at the trashbin at her office, she decides to dismember the burglar’s corpse and throw the parts away in various locations of the city.

After being sent home, she dismembers the burglar’s body, then keeps his .45 caliber pistol, puts the pieces into plastic garbage bags, and then stores them in her fridge. After cleaning her bathtub, she decides to take a shower, but as she strips, she begins to hallucinate the first attacker in the mirror grabbing her breast. This puts her into shock, and notices that organs and body fluids from the burglar are overflowing in the drain. Her nosey neighbor, an old, recently widowed woman named Mrs. Nasone who is the landlady and owns a small dog named Phil, also starts to notice her odd behavior.

On her walk home from work the next day, Thana is noticed by a leering young man on the street while she is disposing of one of the bagged body parts; thinking that she accidentally dropped the bag, he retrieves it, frightening her. He chases her through the alleys of the city, and fearing another sexual assault, she fatally shoots him when she is cornered by him. The event furthers her impulse for vengeance. While running home from the incident, the landlady Mrs. Nasone notices she ran up the stairs violently and started throwing up. She insists in calling a doctor for Thana, and Mrs. Nasone’s dog, Phil, starts to become attracted to her fridge. Thana escorts her out of her apartment while still in shock.

Ms. 45 - Angel of Vengeance Movie Poster (1981)

Ms. 45 – Angel of Vengeance (1981)

Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys, Darlene Stuto, Helen McGara, Nike Zachmanoglou, Abel Ferrara, Peter Yellen, Editta Sherman
Screenplay by: Nicholas St. John
Cinematography by: James Lemmo
Film Editing by: Christopher Andrews
Art Direction by: Ruben Masters
Music by: Joe Delia
Distributed by: Image Entertainment
Release Date: April 24, 1981