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’80s Cult Classic MS. 45 to be Re-Released via Drafthouse Films

Fans of 80s cult movies have reason to be excited; Drafthouse Films, purveyors and proponents of the best and weirdest genre films cinemadom has to offer, has today announced a “rediscovering” of Abel Ferrara’s 1981 rape-revenge movie, Ms. 45, which will be released to theaters and on home video uncut for the first time in decades, and the first time ever in North America.

From the official press release:

Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today their acquisition of North American rights to Abel Ferrara’s (Bad Lieutenant, King Of New York) 1981 revenge thriller classic Ms. 45. The film follows a mute garment-district seamstress – played by the late model/actress/musician/screenwriter Zoë Lund – who, after falling victim to multiple unspeakable assaults, ignites a one-woman homicidal rampage against New York City’s entire male population. Now remastered in HD from the original negative materials, Ms. 45 returns to theaters this December and debuts on DVD and Blu-ray uncut for the first time in North America. Fans can download two tracks from the film’s original soundtrack (soon to be released for the first time ever by UK’s Death Waltz Records) for free RIGHT HERE.

Fiercely independent auteur Abel Ferrara debuted with the infamous 1979 D.I.Y. cult classic The Driller Killer, which established his signature fusion of NYC, despair, calculated stylish flourishes and idiosyncratic humor. Two years later, his follow-up feature Ms. 45 starred the then 18-year-old Zoë Lund, and explored similar themes while executing a uniquely feminist entry in the urban revenge subgenre. In Brad Stevens’ biography “Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision“, Ferrara recalls of the film, “it shook people up to see an innocent person like themselves suddenly becoming a wanton murderer.” Combining the rampaging angst of 1976’s Death Wish and Roman Polanski’s surreal, post-traumatic Repulsion, Ms. 45 returns from the cult underground over 30 years later to reclaim its title as perhaps the most shocking, complex and empowering vigilante film of the 1980s.

“One of the primary missions with Drafthouse Films is to build a selection of films which destroy the barriers between ‘art-house’ and ‘grindhouse,” says Creative Director Evan Husney, “and Abel Ferrara’s work embodies just that. Ms. 45 is one of those fringe ’80s films that has been somewhat marginalized as pure exploitation, so we are beyond thrilled to reintroduce it to a new audience of cinephiles.”

What do you think? I caught this movie once on IFC, but clearly it was heavily edited. I’m all for uncut versions of movies, restored to the filmmaker’s original vision. What’s your favorite forgotten cult classic? Tell us in the comments below.

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