Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Christian

The Warriors

Recommended Posts

AFI Silver is screening Walter Hill's The Warriors several times in the coming days. It's a key Walter Hill film I've never seen -- just as The Driver had been until I saw it, too, at AFI Silver not too long ago. This weekend isn't good for me, but I have a shot at seeing the film next Monday or Thursday.

 

Is it worth it? 

 

The film was notorious upon its release because, if I recall correctly, certain audience members broke into fights at certain theaters screening the film. (Gang-related, right?) 

 

For all the times I've heard the film referenced over the years, I've never heard much about the film's quality, only the controversy about it.

 

Is it hopelessly dated? Corny? Does it hold up (assuming it played well in 1979)? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike_tn   

I think I saw it as a junior in highschool and mentioned it in Peter's thread Looking back at 1979 in film.  Meaning I probably did, that was 35 years ago. My friend and I talked about it, but he liked more than I. My mom probably cooled my jets in advance. My impression today is weak and it's the corny one. But as a 17 year old I had a limited interest within literature or liberal arts. I was happier camping outdoors in those days. My friends thought Warriors was cool so I had to too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mike. I had seen your comment in the thread for 1979 films and had meant to link it in my first post here. Your post was the only indication of an A&F regular who had seen the film.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Is it hopelessly dated? Corny? Does it hold up (assuming it played well in 1979)? 

 

No. Yes, in the best possible way. YES.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's essentially the first dark comic/graphic novel movie - the directors cut literally has comic images spliced throughout.  There is nothing quite like it.  One of my favorite films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That even higher praise than I expected, Scott. I'm definitely going either Monday or Thursday night. If any D.C. A&F locals are available to join me and prefer one night over the other, let me know.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's essentially the first dark comic/graphic novel movie - the directors cut literally has comic images spliced throughout.  There is nothing quite like it.  One of my favorite films.

Scott, I would love to hear more about what you admire in The Warriors. You, too, Jason. I struggled with the film, in part because I didn't expect the 1970s outfits to be so of-their-time. Don't ask me why I thought that, but I wasn't expecting a movie about gang members to remind me of the Village People the entirety of its running time. The leads were flat, I thought; I liked the hissing, one-note villain best, simply because I wanted to see him get punched -- an effective performance! But those are some soft-looking gangbangers in the movie.

 

I'm not sure if I saw the Director's Cut.  I don't remember much comic-book imagery. What I did like was the deejay, only seen via shots of her lips, as she comments on the action. The color in those scenes, mainly just a red light, was more striking than much of the film's other imagery, I thought. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
J.R.   

For those that like The Warriors, I'd also recommend Walter Hill's Streets of Fire. It has a similar vibe, but never quite found the cult audience as The Warriors. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Christian, watching The Warriors has made me terrified of the Village People. Take that.

 

I like the movie because I think it has aged well. The scuzzy fantasy NYC is straight out of some lost John Carpenter movie, and the plot pulls enough from Greek epics and wraps it in a cartoony shell. While I have a slightly (slightly) higher assessment of the individual characters than you, I think the Warriors as a gang is a more important character than Swan or Cowboy or whoever. I'm with Scott—it's a dark comic book film that borrows themes from Anabasis and plops it in a nightmare version of gang-infested NYC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the movie because I think it has aged well. The scuzzy fantasy NYC is straight out of some lost John Carpenter movie.

Yeah, I hear you on that. I thought of Carpenter several times during the film. I wanted to have the same response to The Warriors that I've always had to Escape From New York, but I didn't. Not even close.

 

I never was much into comic books, so maybe I missed what comic-book aficionados see in this film.

 

As for JR's comment above, I'm a big fan of Streets of Fire and would have loved to have a Warriors viewing experience on par with watching that film for the first time.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jason Panella wrote:
: The scuzzy fantasy NYC is straight out of some lost John Carpenter movie.

 

Speaking of which... the New York locations then and how (where "now" means May 2013), e.g.:

 

The Warriors never set foot in the Bronx.

 

This might come as a surprise, seeing as how the movie revolves around a New York City gang trying to make their way from the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park to Brooklyn’s Coney Island, but filming only took place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. However, authenticity aside, The Warriors captured nighttime New York in a way that very few movies had previously, using some insanely brilliant and memorable locations.

 

Let’s see how many we can find. . . .

 

The Warriors exit the Conclave via the false wall at the northern end of the park (just to their left is Dinosaur Playground):

 

8752081904_f6561624e3_o.jpg

 

8750957337_c2ccf9a15f_o.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's essentially the first dark comic/graphic novel movie - the directors cut literally has comic images spliced throughout.  There is nothing quite like it.  One of my favorite films.

Scott, I would love to hear more about what you admire in The Warriors. You, too, Jason. I struggled with the film, in part because I didn't expect the 1970s outfits to be so of-their-time. Don't ask me why I thought that, but I wasn't expecting a movie about gang members to remind me of the Village People the entirety of its running time. The leads were flat, I thought; I liked the hissing, one-note villain best, simply because I wanted to see him get punched -- an effective performance! But those are some soft-looking gangbangers in the movie.

 

I'm not sure if I saw the Director's Cut.  I don't remember much comic-book imagery. What I did like was the deejay, only seen via shots of her lips, as she comments on the action. The color in those scenes, mainly just a red light, was more striking than much of the film's other imagery, I thought. 

The outfits weren't of-their-time - they were over-the-top zany for NYC gang members.  For me, that's the comic-book quality, along with the gang-reporting DJ broadcasting tips on who the Warriors are battling.  And yes, they are soft looking by modern standards, but the whole thing is so highly elevated, you just have to sink into the imaginary world, and then it's pretty fantastic. It's one of the most intentionally unrealistic yet realistic movies I've seen - the tone isn't quite like anything else.  And for it's time, the fighting is very stylish.  

 

And I think the baseball furies are still some of the coolest movie villains I've ever seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Scott. Your comment about the baseball furies reminded me that I'd made a (mocking) note of them, so I pulled out my notes to review. Here are my notes from the viewing. I hope those who haven't seen the film -- and those who have -- will enjoy following along. Some are dialogue snippets, some are intended in a joking manner. Several references to use of the term "faggot," because given my Village People cheap shot -- I really did think that while watching the film -- I wondered if there would be overt references to homosexuality in the film, and how the characters would treat that subject. Ya'll can sort it out:

 

Music retro synth

 

clothes/look are amusing

 

you goin' faggot?

 

Caesar: Nobody is wasting nobody.

 

Can you dig it?

 

Wild cut to deejay talking into mic

 

deejay issues threats

 

screen wipe

 

We're acting like faggots

 

woman comments on action -- Greek chorus?

 

menacing baseball gang members!

 

Maybe all of you just goin' faggot

 

Trips up cop in slo-mo

 

Suddenly -- lots of women! Like Hill forgot earlier

 

The chicks are packed!

 

dude on roller skates! Eerie! Scary!

 

Big gang fight is intermittently effective

 

bone crunching

 

After all that, an eyewitness to Cyrus' murder??

 

I really do try to appreciate a film in its own context/time, but this one defeated me.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×