The basics of Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45 are familiar enough from an exploitation film… abuse, revenge, a violet lady, a general surreal quality and a bloody finale. Released in 1981, it recalls films like Carrie and I Spit On Your Grave, but it’s certainly my favorite of any of them, and is among Ferrara’s best films (it gets my vote).
And though I have no idea why this is happening, I couldn’t be happier to hear Drafthouse Films has acquired the rights to remaster, re-release, and republish the film this year. The full press release below, but the jist is that the film will hit theaters in December and be backed by a new, uncut Blu-ray/DVD release. There’s certainly merit in releasing this as a catalogue title, and Drafthouse of course has their network of theaters to back any such rerelease, but I’m interested in what the model is at play here.
There’s also a simultaneous soundtrack release, and you can grab two tracks from it for free here.
Seriously, I have no idea what the method behind this madness could be, but I’m fine with it! I’m also hoping that with Abel Ferrara inevitably doing some press and Q&A’s that we’ll hear more about progress on his Pier Paolo Pasolini biopic…
**** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ****
DRAFTHOUSE FILMS REDISCOVERS
AMERICAN FILM ICON’S ’80s CULT CLASSIC
Abel Ferrara’s Female Revenge Film Classic MS. 45
Returns To Theaters And Home Video Uncut
AUSTIN, TX – Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – 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: bit.ly/Ms45Download.
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.”
The deal was negotiated by Evan Husney and James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films and David Kravis of Coastline Licensing International, Inc.
For theatrical bookings contact Sumyi Khong Antonson, VP of Marketing and Distribution at email@example.com. For festival bookings contact Jon Stobezki, Festival Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Ms. 45, Death Waltz Records and Drafthouse Films: