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Ms .45 (1981) – Episode 167 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Don’t know why they want to persecute me because I don’t talk to women. All women do is laugh, and sing, and say the word ‘Pussy’. Y’ask any doctor, and he’ll tell you that.” So says the woman on the street. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr –  as they journey into the seedy world of Abel Ferrara’s Ms .45 (1981).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 167 – Ms .45 (1981)

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.


Abel Ferrera’s Ms .45 stars the enigmatic and tragic Zoë Lund. None of your 80s Grue-Crew cares much for rape-revenge movies but Ms .45 is an exception. Bill points out two scenes – the “murder-in-the-round” and the “nun-with-a-gun” scenes – that stand out. Mrs. Nasone (Editta Sherman), the nosy neighbor, and her equally nosy dog tickle Crystal’s funnybone. Chad is impressed with Zoë Lund’s mute performance as Thana throughout the film. How Thana must feel as a mute in the noisy and chaotic world of fashion captures Jeff’s attention.

Your Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew recommend Ms .45 with the possible exception of the rape scenes which, though relatively mild in comparison with films like I Spit on Your Grave, could still trigger some viewers.  Ms .45 is available for streaming on Amazon’s IMDb channel and on physical media as a Drafthouse Blu-ray.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode will be dedicated to Phenomena (1985), written and directed by Dario Argento, starring Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, and Daria Nicolodi. 

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.