The Warriors combines pure pulp storytelling and surprisingly poetic images into a thoroughly enjoyable cult classic. The plot is mythically pure (and inspired by a legendary bit of Greek history): When a charismatic gang leader is shot at a conclave in the Bronx meant to unite all the gangs in New York City, a troupe from Coney Island called the Warriors get blamed and have to fight all the way back to their own turf--which means an escalating series of battles with colorful and improbable gangs like the Baseball Furies, who wear baseball uniforms and KISS-inspired... face make-up. Pop existentialism, performances that are somehow both wooden and overwrought, and zesty, kinetic filmmaking from director Walter Hill (Southern Comfort, 48 Hrs.) result in a delicious and unexpectedly resonant operatic cheesiness. --Bret Fetzer [show more]
70s cult classic from action auteur Walter Hill; 'The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut' breathes new life into an old B-movie warhorse that's as much fun today, as it must've been 30 years ago. A historic gang meet in The Bronx turns ugly, when conspirators assassinate unifying, charismatic gang leader; Cyrus and frame 'The Warriors' for his murder. Now on hostile turf, in an increasingly chaotic situation and miles away from their patch on Coney Island, 'The Warriors' brave the mean streets n' subways of NYC, battling cops & rival gangs alike, in a desperate bid get home in time for their tea. I liked the introductory allusions to Greco-Persian literature (i.e. 'The Warriors' represent Greek mercenaries who fought for 'The Persian Empire' and found themselves having to fight their way home). Michael 'Swan' Beck's line: "When we saw the ocean we figured we were home, safe" is a nod to the famous "thalatta, thalatta!" ("The sea, the sea!") line from Xenophon's 'Anabasis'. In which Greeks are recruited into Prince Cyrus's army to reclaim the throne of Persia from Artaxerxes, but when Cyrus is slain in battle, the campaign is rendered useless hence the story of a fighting fallback. Here; Cyrus's great truce is declared null & void after his assassination. One of the first things you'll notice is just how intentionally camp these teenaged tearaways are: posing and overacting as if their lives depended on it; the bad dudes in this picture are about the most genteel, non-threatening bunch of gang bangers you're ever likely to meet, some of them are just extremely polite; even paying for their train tickets and forming an orderly queue through the barriers. You had African American Kung-Fu masters 'The Riffs' (Cyrus was their leader), lipstick lesbians 'The Lizzies', mimes (WTF?) 'The Hi Hats', snazzy cats 'The Boppers' the sharp dressing 'Saracens', Black Panther-esque paramilitaries 'The Panzers', baseball oddballs 'The Furies' and of course, this war to end all wars wouldn't be complete without the dulcet tones of the Gramercy 'Riffs' DJ, putting out the word on 'The Warriors' always accompanied by an appropriate song (e.g. 'Keep On Running' etc). Acting comes a distant second to pace & action as Ajax (James Remar) sells killer lines like: "those lousy skinhead f***s", "did we lose those f***ing clowns yet?" and "what's the matter; you going faggot?" a line which has an audible clang of irony, coming as it does from a character who spends all his time around guys with a penchant for wearing matching outfits, tight jeans and the occasional tank top. Some of the deleted scenes were excellent, particularly part of Cyrus's speech and where Warrior Cleon selects the nine who'll attend the meeting. 'The Warriors' also boasts a unique visual style that emphasises the comic book feel, achieved to great effect by director Walter Hill & cinematographer Andrew Laszlo (who'd go onto do 'Streets Of Fire', 'Southern Comfort' and 'First Blood'). The actual comic book transitions aren't necessary, since we get the idea, though I presume they're included to give the film an episodic, pulp fiction feel. Michael Beck puts in a good, Val Kilmer-esque performance as War Chief Swan alongside Deborah Van Valkenburgh as pouting, loud mouth hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold; Mercy. A great film, though its difficult to say why; for nothing much happens: 'The Warriors' fight some other equally ludicrous gangs, run, jump on the train, run from some cops, beat up some cops, jump on the train and so on. But its all done with such verve, pace and forward momentum that you can't help but be taken along for the ride; cheering these hapless, wannabe tough guys on their perilous journey home. So if you're looking for a gritty, accurate portrayal of the New York underworld, look elsewhere (or read Sol Yourik's novel which is a lot more serious than Hill's adaptation) but if its 90 minutes of vibrant escapism and a drive-in movie style gang picture you're after, then watch 'The Warriors': "CAAAAN YOU DIG IT?"
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Please note this is a region B Blu-ray and will require a region B or region free Blu-ray player in order to play. A street gang is blamed unfairly for a rival gang leader's death and must fight its way home to Coney Island from the Bronx.
After a city-wide gang meeting, a downtown New York gang called the Warriors is forced to make its way back across enemy territory after being framed for the killing of a rival unit's leader. Unarmed and desperate, they come up against one hostile gang after another as they fight their way back through the city streets to the one place where they will be safe. Directed by Walter Hill ('48 Hrs', 'Southern Comfort').