starring Zoë Tamerlis, Bogey, Albert Sinkys, Darlene Stuto
screenplay N. G. St. John
directed by Abel Ferrara
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. I first saw Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 the way I suspect most men my age saw it: furtively, in my bedroom, on VHS. It had about it that aura of skeeviness I spent a good portion of my time hunting for at the local video store. My nose for such things had been rewarded with likes of I Spit on Your Grave and The Last House on the Left, films that never failed to be prurient in their rape sequences, no matter their nods to subsequently avenging our fair, fairly defiled, maidens. What Ferrara presents with this, arguably his second-most notorious film (The Addiction is unbelievable, and still only available on VHS), is a rape-revenge tale that does nothing to de-feminize its heroine--rather correctly, powerfully, identifying that the loci of a woman's power is indeed her sexuality, even as that sexuality draws the objectifying, dehumanizing gaze. It's why, after all, so many fertility goddesses are also destroyers, isn't it? There's a moment in the third Terminator where the female terminator, played by the already-intimidating Kristanna Loken, makes a decision to enlarge her breasts prior to confronting a male victim. If only the rest of that film were so wise.