‘The Warriors’

Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” has always been a favorite film of mine.  It manages to hold up pretty well, despite being made in 1979.  Part of what makes it so durable is that the story is essentially a simple one, which is a gang from Coney Island comes to Manhattan for a big meeting, attended by what looks like every other gang in the city.

This meeting is being organized by Cyrus, the leader of the Gramercy Riffs.

The police, aware of the meeting and realizing that they will never have the opportunity to arrest so many gang members at one time, silently surround them though, just as the police spring their trap, a member of a rival gang, the Rogues, murders Cyrus, and blames it on the Warriors.

Now they have to make their way back to Coney Island, evading not only every other gang in the city, but the police as well.

“The Warriors,” strangely enough, isn’t a very realistic film–most of the actors are too attractive, bordering on pretty in some instances–and oddly surreal at times, especially when the Baseball Furies make their appearance.  I mean, a gang that wears baseball uniforms, with painted faces and baseball bats is, when you think about it, sorta silly (just the time it would take to put on all that face paint alone–each member seemed to have different makeup–would pretty much severely limit their effectiveness.

I mean, imagine them in a fight, which they’d probably do really well in, till the copious amount of face paint they wore began to react to the sweat of their exertions, and ran into their eyes.

Though what is even stranger is that it not only works, but you take their threat very, very seriously.  In fact, there’s an oddly creepy quality to them, as if they were some sort of unstoppable force of clown-faced doom.

What’s also somewhat unrealistic, though fascinating, is that, despite guns existing, virtually no one uses them (other than one person in the Rogues, a member of the Lizzies and the police), which implies some sort of honor code at work.

And I get that if everyone were shooting at each other, the nature of the film would change drastically, though at the time I imagine that it was a pretty bold idea not to use them.

For awhile there was talk about remaking the film, with Tony Scott directing, though as far as I am aware the potential film has been in development Hell long before Scott committed suicide.

And while, if anyone was able to reboot “The Warriors” in the style it deserves, it would be Tony Scott, I am glad that it hasn’t come to pass because “The Warriors” is a thrilling, exciting, surreal, while remaining hyper-real, movie that deserves never to be rebooted, remade or third-dimensionalized.

Though there was a video game based on the property in 2005, made by Rockstar Games.

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