My “reviews” are pretty much me doing a scene by scene run through of the movie which is sometimes long and sometimes short depending on, well depending on if it’s a bag of shit, semi decent or good – you get the point. These “reviews” fall onto the page pretty much how the words would fall from my mouth. It’s not pretty but hopefully its entertaining and if it’s gets at least one chuckle or a smile then I’ve achieved what I set out to do here.
Ok guys the plot on this one is right out of a side scrolling beat-em up. It’s about a gang called The Warriors who have to get from one side of New York to the other and it’s no small journey either as they have to trek over 30 miles from the north end of the Bronx to Coney Island in south Brooklyn! Why I hear you ask. Well, the Warriors got the call to attend a meeting of gangs from all over New York from the enigmatic Cyrus. Framed for his murder and with all the gangs in the city on the hunt for them, the gang go on the run in a desperate attempt to make it home. Will they make it? Stay tuned boppers and follow The Warriors as they try……
As there are 9 main members of the warriors I thought I would put them here as sort of a mini cast roll. I’ll mention everyone else as we bop our way through the movie!
THE WARRIORS – Michael Beck as Swan, James Remar as Ajax, Cleon played by Dorsey Wright, Brian Taylor who plays Snow, David Harris as Cochise, Tom McKitterick playing Cowboy, Marcelino Sanchez as Rembrandt, Terry Michos as Vermin, Fox played by Thomas G. Waites and playing the character of Mercy is Deborah Van Valkenburgh.
The movie opens with a bit of a animated intro of a tale of a unit of Greek soldiers doing a forced march after this we get some text – some time in the future. Our first introduction to The Warriors is Cleon confirming the meeting is still on and they (The Warriors) need to check out this Cyrus cat themselves. A syth/rock track plays over the opening credits and we get a look at the other gangs heading out to the meeting through a montage of cuts all interspersed with The Warriors journey via train. The journey is a long one and it gives us time to be introduced to more of the gang and their concerns about the meeting along with some small character building. We track over the map on the train as it follows the gang from stop to stop. The montage ends with some of the gang giving their thoughts on who Cyrus is and ending with Ajax saying “I bet there is gonna be no one there!”
Arriving at the meeting spot the Warriors make their way through the crowds and survey the situation. As the camera pans we see a ringed off area around a wooden climbing frame surrounded by purple shirt wearing gang members. As the camera cuts we see hundreds of gang members from all over the city.
A long hair man shouts out from within the fenced off area “Can you count suckers?” this is our introduction to Cyrus, played by Roger Hill, and what a introduction it is! Deep of voice and charismatic the dude could be a young James Earl Jones!! He climbs up the wooden frame pointing out gangs and how “Nobody is wasting nobody” he goes on to give numbers saying 9 delegates from 100 gangs with over 100 more gangs that makes 20k hard core affiliates with others not organised and the rest which making up to 60 thousand soldiers and with only 20 thousand police in the city! – some hardcore fucking numbers there mate I see what your trying to do. Leaving dead air for a beat Cyrus utters his immortal line……. “Can yoooou diiiiiig iiiiiiit!” The gathered gangs go fucking mental shouting and cheering him on! Cyrus elaborates a little more – the suave looking mother fucker that he is – he tells the gathered mass that one gang could rule the city and they would have total control as they have the streets!!!
Oh fuck here comes the fuzz!! Cheering and getting swept up in his rhetoric the gangs start to feel his plan! Cheering louder they all seems to be up for it and as the police close in we see a gun being passed hand to hand through the crowd – holy fuck balls this is supposed to be a weapon free meeting – the gun ends up in the hands of Luther played by David Patrick Kelly. Aiming down the barrel Luther shoots and kills Cyrus turning he sees Rembrandt clocked him shoot Cyrus and he aims the gun again but as he is about to waste the young Warrior the cops spring their ambush and hit spot lights and sirens!! The gangs scatter and in the chaos The Warriors get separated. Cleon is near Cyrus when Luther shouts out and points towards Snow shouting that The Warriors killed Cyrus! Luther charges Snow and they tumble to the ground. Hearing who pulled the trigger the Riffs attack Cleon who defends himself with some solid Karate – it is actually very well done – but the weight of numbers is too much and Cleon is dragged down into some weird circle of elbows?!?
Finding each other the Warrior break through a fence and make their escape as the cops and gangs clash. Resting in a grave yard and soaked in sweat – and I mean SOAKED! Even the leather is wet!! No these guys must perspire like fucking lawn sprinklers or someone fucked up with this effect lol – Swan asks if anyone saw Cleon – nobody knows. Now worried that the truce is no longer in effect the gang try to work out what to do as they might have to fight their way home. Rembrandt is sent to scout the area to make sure they are safe for the moment. Ajax confronts Sawn about the gangs leadership and it gets real tense for a minute the tension is broken by Rembrandt calling over to say he has found the train. They head off in the direction of the tracks. Rembrandt is tasked to mark a gravestone with a big red W.
We cut to a huge basement filed with The Riffs as their stand in leader asks if anyone know who the Warriors are. No response. He puts out notice that The Warriors are fair game and he wants them alive if possible or wasted – he doesn’t care!
The next scene is one of my favourites due to the simplicity of it and the way it conveys how the word on the warriors is put out across all the gangs. Its just the close up of a woman’s mouth and a mic as she – in a most sexy voice – puts out a “hit” with The Warriors in mind and puts on the track Nowhere to run, Nowhere to hide! This plays over another montage of gangs getting the message and hitting the streets to hunt down the Warriors.
Lightning splits the sky as the rain comes down drenching our gang as they make it to spitting distance of the steps to the train platform. Waiting in the shadows for the train to arrive a bus approaches, seeing it is a gang called the Turnbull AC’s the guys conclude the truce is, n fact, over. As the train arrive s the bus with the Turnbulls turns around just in time to see The Warriors making a break for the platform steps and safety! Ajax turns to give the finger as the bus slams on the anchors. Sprinting up to the platform and into the train the lads are safe. The train pulls away. The Warriors high on adrenaline and patting themselves on the back revel in their escape!
The Riffs are told the Turnbulls blew it and the next thing we know is the train carring the Warriors has to stop due to a fire at the next station…….
Cut to Luther and his gang. The gang are harassing some poor shop keeper as Luther calls in to report what had happened and Cyrus is dead. One of Luther’s gang is worried that the Warriors will tell the Riffs the truth about who shot Cyrus so they head out to find them too.
Slogging it on foot The Warrors are making their way through the streets when they notice they are being watched from the roof tops – it’s The Orphens – the gang are gonna risk going through this no name gangs turf. Coming face to face with a small group of Orphens, Swan decides diplomacy is the best option. Displaying some U.N level skills they negotiate passage through the Orphan turf. Enter Mercy trying to cause shome shit between the two gangs, she wants a vest from one of the Warriors, showing up the Orphen leader and pressuring him into demanding The Warriors go as civilians through their Turf. Having non of this Swan tell them to fuck off and bold as baboon balls the strut down the road showing the Orphens that they aint shit. Mercy follows at a distance.
Losing sight of them Mercy gets grabbed from behind by Ajax – the guys knew she was following. Mercy wants to join up with them after seeing Swan’s display of strength. The Orphens come running around the corner and as it is about to kick off the Warriors hurl a petrol bomb. Using the explosion as a distraction they escape! Back on the train they seem to accept Mercy into the ranks.
The Riffs get news the Orphans got wasted and the Warriors are still bopping it home.
Lips – that’s what im calling her – is back on the radio filling the rest of the gangs in on current events.
Luther is hyped the Warriors are fighting their way through and rushes back to the car so they can continue their own hunt.
Back with our gang and we see them in the, now, empty train waiting at the platform for the train they need to switch to. Footsteps begin to echo through the empty station – who the fuck is it now??? The tension builds slowly when all of a sudden a cop appears in outside the train window!! Fuck sake but these lads can’t catch a break can they? Bailing from the train they make a break for it with Ajax booting on copper down the stairs. Once again split up most of the gang make it out but Mercy and Fox are caught on a platform as Fox is tackled by a cop he yells at Mercy to run for it which she does. Fox and the cop are rolling about on the floor when the copper gets a bit of leverage and throws Fox onto the tracks just as a train hurtles through – and just like that Vermin is squished!
Some of the guys – Cochise, Vermin and Rembrandt – make it onto a waiting train just as the doors close. Outside Swan, Ajax, Cowboy and Snow wait. Noticing something amiss Swan looks around, the gang are surrounded by The Baseball Furies! Now these dudes are what makes The Warriors is such an entertaining movie because these guys are all painted up in full baseball gear and swinging bats – they look like fucking clowns to honest but if you ran into some motherfuckers looking like they do I imagine you would run! I wouldn’t because today might be a good day to die!!!
Anyway the foursome make a break for it again – everyone must have amazing cardio in this movie universe – the Furies give chase! Absolutely pegging it through the streets again Ajax asks if they lost the clowns and they haven’t as still coming down the road like fucked up Terminators are The Baseball Furies. Let rip the 70’s rock track as the gangs run into a park. Splitting up Swan and Snow go one way while Ajax and Cowboy go the other. Circling behind the perusing Furies Swan and Snow get the drop on one of them, taking him out and grabbing his bat they run on. Cut to Ajax and Cowboy who decide they are gonna stand and fight. Cowboy goes down leaving Ajax to square off against his attacker. Ajax fucks him up with a sweet combo just as Swan and Snow arrive to even the odds! After a good rumble – it is a well cut and kinetic fight scene – the Warriors victorious again arm up with bats and head out!
Lips is back on the air waves letting everyone know the Furies have also failed!
Cut to Union Square station we see the rest of the gang – Cochise, Rembrandt and Vermin – get off the train. This is the meeting place and it looks like they are the first to get there, but wait what is this? A group of young ladies are stood around the bottom of the stairs and are showing interest in our gang. The guys go over……
Back with Swan, Ajax, Snow and Cowboy as they continue to walk through the park. They walk past a woman sat alone on a bench. Ajax wants to have a chat with her but Swan wants to crack on to the station to hook up with the rest of the guys. Ajax sit next to the woman on the bench and they start flirting. Snow and Cowboy want to go back and look out for Ajax while Swan carries on to the station. Getting a bit heavy handed and carried away with the woman. She struggles away and in the process handcuffs Ajax to the bench! What the fuck?? She starts blowing a whistle!!! Honey Trap 101. Kicking off Ajax starts to panic. The cops arrive and put a beat down on Ajax. Bloodied he looks up at the cop and calls him a wimp! Defiant to the last!!! Cowboy and Snow witness this from afar.
Outside 96st Station Swan, bat in hand, is looking for any sign of the other Warriors when he bumps into Mercy who tell him that the cops got Fox. Mercy offers to help the guys get to Union Square by showing Swan where to garb the train. On the platform they get spotted by a cop and escape into the train tunnels. We now transition back to Cochise and co as they stop outside a pizza shop. He asks the chicks where all the dudes are. They assure him they are well out of the picture for the night. The girls want to party and take the guys into their “place” which has loads more young girls. Vermin asks what the name of their clique is. Turns out they are called The Lizzies. Vermin and Cochise begin to get off with some of the ladies. Rembrandt is the only one who is worried about getting back to the rest of the gang…….
In the tunnels Swan and Mercy trudge on talking they begin to bond a little. Swan tells Mercy he doesn’t like the way she lives. Mercy tells him she is pretty much living in the moment and doesn’t want to end up like some of those she sees on the streets – they kiss as a train rumbles by. Swan as a bit of regret at this and regains focus on the mission at hand.
Back at The Lizzie’s gang hangout the party is still going but Rembrandt is becoming suspicious of the girls and with good cause too because as the music plays the Lizzies spring their trap pulling guns and knives. Telling the guys that they know who The Warriors are “your the guys that killed Cyrus” one of they says just as it all kicks off!!Busting out in a hail of gun fire the dudes escape. Taking a moment they patch up Rembrandt’s hand which got cut. Rembrandt tells the other two what he heard and that every gang is going to be looking for them. A fire now lit under their collective arses they head off to Union Station again!
Alone Swan walks through the seeming deserted train station – are all New York stations this quiet all the time? – As Swan walks out of shot a roller skating dude rolls around the corner – now i wouldn’t think anything of this but for the fact the station is void of any other living soul and that some ominous music has just keyed up – coming to a temporary stop our skater glares after Swan then begins to follow him.
Back at Unions Street Station Rembrandt and co hook back up with Snow and Cowboy who share what happened to Ajax. They set off to look for Swan.
Mercy finds Swan and lets him know the guys with skates are after Swan. Annoyed at Mercy Swan tells her he know he was being followed and now they know he knows. Mercy wants to know what he is going to do as the other Warriors descend the station steps. Waving them off towards the toilets Swan and Mercy follow the rest of the gang into the mens room. Our skater friend and his mates, who are fully tooled up by the way, enter and start checking stalls with knives and bats at the ready. The tension mounts and then gives way to a bathroom brawl as the Warriors burst out of the stalls and begin to fuck up these dungaree wearing nonces! The fight flows back and forth with each gang giving as good as they get but ultimately The Warriors are victorious once more.
Back at Riff HQ a report comes in that the Warriors have dropped off the grid and nobody has seen them. The leader is told there is someone he needs to hear as this guy saw who shot Cyrus!!!! Are the Warriors saved or fucked? Who is this witness???
Safe on the train the remaining Warriors think on the words of Cyrus. Rembrandt and Cowboy catch some sleep. Two young couples get on the train laughing and talking. They sit opposite Swan and Mercy who stare at the couples with impassive faces causing the couples to stop there fun. The couples look over the state of Swan and Mercy seeing the dirt and blood – this scene really cements both sides of the tracks and is a really powerful shot!
Stepping off at Coney Island the gang have made it back! Swan and Mercy have a moment. Swan contemplates leaving the life behind. As the gang walk a car follows them, slow and menacing. It’s Luther the greasy little fuck stain! The Warriors head under the pier losing Luther. making some improvised weapons they prepare to make their stand!!
The car pulls to a stop and we get treated to the other iconic scene from this movie and that is Luther tapping 3 bottles on his finger together making a very distinctive sound, he beings to call out ” Waaaaarriors come out to plaaaaaaay” over and over to the temp of the bottles – creepy as fuck –
Swan makes sure everyone is packing. He tells the gang he is gonna take Luther out to the sand. The gang make their way down to the beach. Luther and his gang take the bait and head in on foot. Both gangs square off and prepare to ruck! Swan asks Luther why he killed Cyrus to which Luther says “No reason, I just like doing stuff like that” and starts laughing. Swan wants to go one on one with Luther. Having non of this Luther pulls a gun and tells them they are all dead but no, not on his watch, Swan side steps and shoots his knife right into the forearm of Luther making him miss the shot. With a coolness not seen again with John Wick, Swan walks over to the whimpering Luther and retrieves his knife and in doing so cleans in on a tuft of Luthers hair!! Bad ass to the balls!!
No nobody has noticed the army of Riffs and I mean an army turn up at the beach. Swan asks if they are still looking for the Warriors but they are not the Riffs tell Swan the Warriors are good. They know it was Luther. Letting the Warriors go they close ranks and circle Luther and his boys – a scream of no leaves Luthers mouth.
Cut to Lips who apologises to the Warriors in her own sexy way.
We get a beach montage of the gang as upbeat music plays. Mercy and Swan gaze into each others eyes, Mercy smiles and we cut to the rest of the gang frolicking along the beach. Who knows what their future holds!!!
And that’s a wrap on this one guys! Thanks for coming on the journey on this one!
I give this movie a score of 9/10
Well where do we start? Lets take a look at some figures first. The Warriors opened on Feb 9th 1979 – I would have been just shy of 3 years old at the time – and pulled in $3.5 million in it’s opening weekend all without a full on promotional campaign. During it’s first couple of weeks the movie was linked to several instances of violence causing the advertisements for the movie to be pulled off the air totally. After a couple of weeks incident free and estimated to bring in a further $4 to $7 million the movie carried on bringing in the public and by it’s 6th week had grossed $16.4 million. Yeah the movie got shit on by the critics with one critic calling the movie …..
“an inciteful, stylized and shallow portrayal of gang warfare that panders to angry youthful audiences.”Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times
But this didn’t stop the films success and even gained President Ronald Reagans seal of approval. Over the years the movie has gained cult status and generated many discussions about remakes and even a TV series proposed by the Russo Brothers back in 2016 – Hey Joe, Anthony make this happen will ya!!!! So strong was the cult status of the movie is has since spawned a range of action figures and 2 video games – a side note to this is that Roger Hill who played Cyrus sued Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive for use of his likeness. Hill died in 2014 and the outcome of the case is unknown!
I’ve loved this movie ever since I caught it late night on Film 4 – Thor’s balls I love channel 4 and all they did with screening movies like this – It drew me in with it’s design. The costumes are crazy going from The Warriors brown leather biker vests sporting they gang logo on the back to gangs like The Baseball Furies and their get up! Even down to the individuals because each gangs theme is uniform across all members it would be hard or confusing to tell them apart, like for example the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who in the original comic run can only be told apart from their weapons. In The Warriors so you can distinguish between them not only do they have classic character types they also have visual differences so the less vocal members can be identified. Examples of this would be Rembrandts scarf, the feathers and adornments in the hair of Cochise and Cowboys hat.
The characters are great from the off. Cyrus is charismatic and engaging a true showman. The villain of Luther is suitably crazy and you can see it in his eyes every time he speaks and he is the total opposite to Swan who is emotionless and stoic for the majority of the movie. Ajax though has to be my favourite character and the one who embodies the most rage and anger – he is the Raph of the group – right up to the point he is caught by the cops he is still giving it the big FUCK YOU!
The music gives the movie a great pace and urgency when needed and a more sinister brooding tension at other times. All of the music barring a couple of tracks is instrumental and when it isn’t that contrast works really well to highlight key moments in the movie.
Some of the social themes the movie touches on are really well do with props going, again, to the scene on the train towards the end between Mercy, Swan and the four young “well off” kids with that scene ending with a corsage being dropped in the train and Swan giving it to Mercy with the words “I don’t like seeing things go to waste.”. This is Swan telling Mercy she is better than she thinks she is and he finally accepting her.
Some down low deep shit if you look for it – subtle!!
I can’t leave this movie without giving the NIPPLES of The Warriors a special shout out! I’m pretty sure there is a nipple of some sort in almost every scene in this movie – now that is a feat of cinematography if ever I saw one!!!
A fucking cracker of a movie this one and it will no doubt stand the test of time……..
“The halls of Valhalla await this one!! Skol!! Now get it in your eyes! “
What a movie. I’m pretty sure there are a ton of mistakes in this but by Odin’s left ball bag I couldn’t care less as long as you have been entertained! Thanks again guys. As usual the links for those popular sites are below. Until next time may Huginn and Muninn keep watch on you and bring Odin to your aid if you find trouble! Like and share if you can I do apricate it guys as it keeps the Valkyries tits deep in mead!!