Saturday, August 6, 2016

MS. 45 (1981)

A young woman, Thana, who works in Manhattan's Garment District, is having a really bad day.  First off, she's assaulted and raped as she's walking home from the grocery store and then when she gets home she's raped again by some other low-life scumbag.  She fights back against this second guy and ends up killing him with a steam iron.  Instead of calling the police, Thana drags the corpse over to the bathtub and dismembers him.  Obviously, Thana has taken a break from reality and soon she begins walking around NYC killing random men with the pistol she took from the dead rapist.  Even men who did absolutely nothing wrong.

So, how does MS.45 stand up to other exploitation films of the day?  Ehhhhh...meh.  Good pace, above average acting, amazing NYC scenery, but the complete lack of brutality is disappointing...super quick rape scenes, almost zero blood, zero nudity, zero gore.  There's not even any foul language!  Also the story is too vague.  I understand that Thana is unable to speak, but does she also have a mental disability?  Even before the rapes (and she's transformed into Ms. 45) she seems really slow.  Zero personality, walks slow, reaction times of a drunk sloth.  Another thing that I found unnecessarily confusing was why didn't she call the police after the second rape?  It would've been completely understandable for her to have killed this guy.  He literally broke into her home, threatened her with a gun and was raping her when she struck him.  It was a life or death situation.  Instead, what the filmmakers should have done was make the second rapist a cop.  Maybe the cop investigating the original rape!  That way the audience would understand her frustration and actually root for her as she goes around killing men.  Which brings me to the victims.  I'm pretty sure that New York City has no shortage of scumbags that society would be better off without, so why exactly did the filmmakers have Thana going around killing random innocent people?  Yeah, some of them were dangerous (the punks in the park), but other guys were totally minding their own business when Thana just upped and killed them.  From a storytelling perspective, I failed to see the purpose of her doing that.

Anyway, MS. 45 is still an entertaining watch.  It's not the greatest exploitation flick of all time, but it's mildly enjoyable (Except for when the landlady was on screen.  I hated her.) and definitely better than MANIAC.  Surprised there was never a MANIAC VS. MS. 45 crossover.