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(1/17 & 1/18) MS. 45 (1981) DIR. ABEL FERRARA @COOLIDGE


Abel Ferrara, of BAD LIEUTENANT (1992) fame, started his feature film career with this revenge film about a model-pretty, mute, NYC ingénu-gal who, being raped twice in one hour, discovers a hidden penchant for homicide. While there are lots of labels/taglines one could apply to this film, really, it’s all about the girl. Her name is Thana, which is a nod both to the Greek ancestry of actress Zoe Tamerlis (later Lund), and to the incarnation of Death our heroine ultimately becomes.

MS. 45 seems at first like straightforward exploitation fodder: hot babe, lots of bad boys get satisfyingly splattered, more hot babe, weird neighbors, even hotter babe, body part disposal problems, etc.. What gets under your skin are unexpected scenes of actual pathos, plus the uncompromising dual arcs of ascending sexuality and madness which intertwine perversely to make MS. 45 almost a “coming of age” film.

Undeniably, young Ms. Tamerlis has looks that kill, and with DRAFTHOUSE FILM’s newly doctored print, an audience can leer all the more lasciviously with tightened resolution and pushed color. Myself, I prefer the washed-out grainy VHS-look of previous incarnations which suits the 70’s NYC street feel of the setting. If you ever wanted to see a Hepburn-esque heroine wreak bloody vengeance on jerky menfolk sporting late 70’s attire, this IS your opportunity.

@COOLIDGE // $10 Admission // @fter Midnite (11:59PM)
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Also screens 1/24 – 1/26 @BRATTLE

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