A severely underrated classic, Ms. 45 (also known as Angel of Vengeance) is a perfect mix of lipstick, stockings, and uber-violence. A realistic thriller that plays out like a female Death Wish, this dark and styling Abel Ferrara film only appears a typical femme-fatale flick, but proves itself an intense and engrossing ride, with a unique soundtrack reminiscent of Silent Hill mixed with the most awesome, twisted jazz solos I've ever heard. Sans the tough-girl cliches and despite its only $62,000 budget, Ms. 45 is one movie that definitely never needed more.
Thana (Zoe Lund) is a loner, keeping mostly to herself within her NYC Clinton Gardens apartment building. She holds a job as a seamstress for a clothing design firm, run by the flamboyant Albert, a man who bends over backwards to kiss the asses of his clients/buyers.
Although Thana's relatively isolated life is in part due to her being a mute, as much in the physical sense as verbal, she still enjoys time at work with her few fellow employees, including a good friend named Laurie (Darlene Stuto).
Living in New York, however, doesn't always bode well for the passive and single. It's commonplace for ladies such as Thana, Laurie, and the other co-workers to walk home on a daily basis as random dudes on the street leer and make catcalls.
As the film starts, Thana is just leaving work with her buds after a particularly long day catering to a stick-up-the-ass client. The usual jeering and whistles emanate around them as they head for the subway, where Thana breaks off from her friends to stop by a grocery mart before walking the rest of the way home.
As she heads down the street with her grocery bag, Thana is suddenly pulled into an alleyway by an unknown assailant wearing a mask. He rapes her, and takes off, telling her he'd be back again.
Somehow, Thana manages to compose herself and head directly home, where she steps into her apartment solemnly, going to her living area to sit for awhile. She's not situated for a single minute before her eyes catch a pair of leather-clad shoes, belonging to a burglar that had broken into her place to rummage for valuables and cash while she was out.
Now having the second gun pointed at her in one day, the burglar demands she tell him where she keeps money, but of course, Thana is incapable of speaking. The man proceeds to dump the contents of her purse on the floor, when he notices her clothing is dirty and ripped - and also rapes her.
Luckily, Thana is not so helpless this time. She uses a glass knick-knack and an iron to bash the burglar over the skull, killing him. Dragging the man into her bathtub, Thana goes about her business as she sits back down in silent contemplation, and returns to work the next day.
Watching one of her co-workers change the garbage, Thana suddenly gets an idea, one which puts her into such a shock that everyone else crowds around her, insisting she let them know what could possibly be wrong.
But Thana apparently doesn't inform the others about the horrors she'd endured the day before, and brings several of the trash bags with her in order to chop up the burglar/rapist in the tub and separate the pieces, shoving the bags into her refrigerator along with the groceries. She then cleans up the area, tucking away the man's .45 handgun...
The next day, Thana leaves her apartment with several of the body part bags, methodically dumping them into random receptacles and on street sides as she goes. A scummy Italian guy happens to be standing at the corner with an old man, spending his morning hitting on any woman that passes by, when he notices Thana and leaves to follow her.
Coming across the one bag she had dropped among a pile of garbage near an alleyway, he uses it as a perfect opportunity to open a conversation, picking it up and chasing her down the street.
Thana can hear the guy shouting after her, and runs down the alley, where there's no open doors or way out, except through him. Just as he comes to a stop right in front of her, she pulls out the .45 and pops the douche right in between the eyes.
In the meantime, a drunken bum is going through the trash when he comes across one of the black bags Thana had dumped in a receptacle. Naturally, he freaks out when he opens it to see the hand of the burglar, and contacts police.
Later on, one of Thana's nosy old neighbors bangs on the door, wondering why in the hell she had raced inside and up the stairs, vomiting in her bathroom. She insists on calling a doctor, but Thana won't have it, and gets especially nervous when the woman's yippy little dog tries to sniff out the base of the fridge. Of course, Thana doesn't have that restful of a sleep.
At work the next day, Albert asks Thana about her problems with absent-mindedness over the past few days. He tells her of an upcoming Halloween party, that she may want to consider going to in order to clear her head. Her buds take her with them to a restaurant for lunch, where another douche, who was just making out with a chick at their table, tries to hit on all of them.
Her friends get irate and end up taking off, leaving Thana to collect the money and bring the check to the cashier. But instead of leaving the guy in the dust like the rest of the girls, she allows him to go off on this spiel about how he's a famous photographer and wants to shoot some pics of her in his studio - and follows him up.
Of course, the guy never had a chance to make any kind of moves on her, as Thana whips out her .45 and pumps him full of lead without even stepping off the elevator, allowing the doors to close and take her right back down.
It's total vengeance time for Thana that evening, as she dons her new signature red lipstick and packs her gun for an exciting night on the town.
First, she pops a pimp beating on his ho in front of a closed-up shop. Then she heads through Central Park, where a gang of five punks manage to brandish some weapons and surround her before she wipes them out. Following that stint, some rich Arab guy (complete with his sunglasses on at night) has his driver pick her up, where he propositions her with a hundred. She shoots him in the dick and kills the driver before returning home to grind up some of the burglar meat for her neighbor's dog.
Now that the death count is up to 10, police are quite aware of what's been happening and are on an all-out manhunt for the .45 killer.
Back at work, Thana's boss reprimands her again for not coming back after lunch the day before, and why all of her friends say she isn't going to the Halloween party. She writes a note to him stating she'd like to go, and her boss inquires as to whether or not she'd like to accompany him, as a date... Oh, noes!!
That evening, Thana glams herself up for another round of Pop the Pricks. She stalks a cute little Chinese guy she sees outside a restaurant kissing his girlfriend, but luckily for him he was able to unlock his apartment door and slip inside before she could pull the trigger on him - before he even knew she was there.
Furious, Thana instead heads to a seedy bar, where she patiently sits as some guy recounts all the problems he's had with his ex, before leaving with her to find a nice, secluded bench where they can get some night air and he can continue to chew her ear off.
Perhaps Thana was reluctant to off this particular guy at first, seeing as how listening to his life story may have forced her to realize he seemed a harmless, o.k. guy - until he tells her he strangled his ex's cat after he caught her cheating.
She pulls out the gun and tries to cap him right there - but finds she's out of bullets. The man appears shocked, asking if the action were some kind of joke, before clicking the safety and pointing the gun to his head... and shooting himself dead.
Apparently the safety was the only problem, although Thana (probably like most viewers) is astonished as to why the dude just took the gun and shot himself like that - but at least now, thanks to Thana's use of gloves along with this loser's corpse clutching the murder weapon - maybe police will at the very least, be thrown way off track from now on.
Back again at work, Albert gives the staff the afternoon off, thanks to all the deadlines being met and considering the Halloween party would be going on that evening. It was probably a good thing, too, since Thana's nosy neighbor had let herself in that morning (It's a good thing Thana moved the last of the body parts bags from the freezer into the hall closet before leaving), snooping around the place and leaving a broken vase her mangy mutt had knocked over.
In a shocking twist, instead of Thana finding the evidence and trying to off the annoying old bat, she writes her a note stating she'd like to take the dog for a walk... and drags him out in the middle of traffic in broad daylight.
But instead of getting rid of him there, she instead walks him to the piers, where she ties up the poor pup before drawing the gun on him, too - now this is just too much!
After dressing up as a nun to go with Albert to the bash, we see her neighbor again securing a closet key and letting herself into the apartment, bringing back one of the remaining bags and discovering none other than the burglar's severed head!
As a bonus shock, comes one of the most obvious and hilarious fuck-ups in a film: Shots of Thana and all the guests partying to the band's music, clearly led by a saxophone melody but being shown as a guy playing the trumpet instead X D
While the annoying neighbor has police over to her place, Thana is taken to an upstairs room by Albert, where the party stops short as she shoots him before descending the stairs, taking out any male guests that get in her way, all via slo-mo. Sorry, but although interestingly shot, I can't help but laugh at all these dudes dressed in these cheap, gay-ass costumes dying...
But in the end, it's none other than Laurie who grabs a cake knife and stabs Thana right through the back at the risk of getting shot, which of course, Thana still cannot do... after all the violence, there's still a good amount of good in her heart.
As we see the little pup Phil finally return all the way home from the pier, completely unharmed, the screen cuts to the ending credits, marking an end to Ms. 45 and her magical clip of 40,000 bullets.
film (c) 1981 Navaron Films