Ms .45 - the feminist version of the Punisher... no really....

We once wrote a list of films that were secretly superhero movies.

We wish we'd seen Ms .45, also known as Angel of Vengeance, back then, as this story of a female vigilante picking off honey-trapped misogynists is the most superheroic movie without a cape in sight that you're likely to see. Hit the jump and fire up the flapper-signal:

As origin stories go, Ms .45's makes Batman look like a sissy. Thana, a seamstress in a small dressmakers in New York, is unremarkable except for two things: that she is a mute, and that she has some spectacularly over-sized eyebrows. On her way home from work one day, she is dragged into an alley and raped in broad daylight.

Dragging herself home afterwards, she walks in on a burglar rummaging through her flat. When he finds nothing, he decides to rape her himself. In the midst of this, our heroine has somewhat of a mental break, beating the rapist to death with an iron. She then decides to cut the guy into tiny pieces and gradually throw away a bit at a time in random bins throughout the city... as you do...

Disturbed by a passerby trying to crack on to her (maybe he has an eyebrow fetish), she kills him with the rapist's .45 calibre gun. She decides she quite likes this and starts heading out at night dressed like a hooker, then blowing away any man who comes on to her.

A series of bizarre setpieces ensue. Our hapless heroine, at one point, shoots an entire gang dead in a series of choreographed trigger pulls that would make Christian Bale proud. On the other hand, one of her victims turns out to be a fellow vigilante, who Thana silently convinces to shoot himself in the head. Eventually, the film climaxes with Thana, dressed as a nun, opening fire at an office party in response to her gropey boss' advances.

The lack of dialogue from our protagonist leaves the film somewhat ambiguous. Whether Thana is a superhero or a spree killer, whether this is a vigilante film or an odd slasher flick is up to the viewer, or possibly anyone's guess. Either way, Ms .45 is essentially style beating substance to death with its bare fists for 90-odd minutes, but somehow manages to remain thoroughly entertaining throughout.

This is down to a combination of morbid curiosity as to where this is all going and some actually-adept direction from Abel Ferrara, of The Driller Killer, Bad Lieutenant and the 93 Body Snatchers fame. Whether you can bring yourself to say you actually like the film or not, it is certainly one to see.

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