Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Warriors (1979)

For this blog's three hundredth review another of all our time favourite films...

The Warriors is a bonafide cult classic. A fairly simple tale of a bunch of kids trying to get home with all manner of obstacles thrown up in their path. It is simple but so so cool.

Cyrus (Roger Hill), the head of the biggest gang in NY the Gramercy Riffs, wants to bring all the gangs together to take over the streets. He brings representatives of all the top gangs in the city to a big meeting in the Bronx but in his moment of triumph he is gunned down by the deranged leader of the Rogues, Luther (David Patrick Kelly). In the ensuing chaos the Warriors from Coney Island get the blame. Now Cyrus' gang put the call out, the Warriors are to be found - alive if possible if not... wasted.

The Warriors are a mixed bunch led by Swan (Michael Beck) and with the violence and sex crazed Ajax (James Remar) always in competition. As the Warriors make their way home, dodging various gangs (which include gangs of roller skaters, lesbians and ghost like baseball players), Swan hooks up with Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburg) who wants something more, she wants something now...

The Warriors finally make their way back to Coney Island, stalked by the Rogues and the Gramercy Riffs. What happens when there is a final showdown?

So it is indeed a very strange film in many ways. The gangs all have their identities and colours, the Warriors themselves wearing rather cute pleather vests, some of the other gangs are completely ridiculous looking. However that adds to the appeal, it is strange and unrealistic.

Backed by an excellent sound track of late 1970s rock and soul this is one of the best films ever made. It is not for the acting which ranges from vague to poor or the story which is pretty much by the numbers but it is the period of time and the style, the sheer craziness of the film and the characters. Some of the Warriors are a little undefined but the main characters certainly are well drawn and you do care about them. The film has a magic that maybe is a little undefinable but is there. Dig it.