Connect with us

Film

40 Years Later: ‘The Warriors’ – A Crowd-Pleasing Piece of Pulp Entertainment

Even if you haven’t seen The Warriors, you’ve most likely heard someone quote the film numerous times. Of all the many classic one-liners spoken in the movie, perhaps the most memorable was, “Waaaaariors, come out to plaaaay.” If that line doesn’t ring a bell, then perhaps you’ve heard of 2005, smash hit video game adaptation/prequel, titled Grand Theft Auto, created by Rockstar Games. Did you know that aside from clearly being inspired by The Warriors, many of the cast members provided voice acting support for the game?

Director Walter Hill (Streets of Fire, The Driver) delivers a campy, shameless but thoroughly entertaining thrill ride with his third feature film. Based on the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick, the action, fantasy, stylized exploitation picture features a very simple but effective plot, following a New York street gang that fights its way from The Bronx to Coney Island. Along the way The Warriors run into several rival gangs including The Lizzies (an all-lesbian gang), The Orphans, The Punks, The Rogues and my personal favorite, The Baseball Furies, a click who sport baseball jerseys, white face paint, and use bats as weapons. Every gang has a theme and a uniform to match, and while the film remains admittedly excessive, it ‘s still a crowd-pleasing piece of pulp entertainment.

warriorsmovie

Apparently, the film was originally set to be made as a western, but when the financing on the project failed to materialize, Paramount Pictures stepped in requesting Hill to center the film around inner city kids instead. The result became a classic storyline, inspired by the Greek tragedy of Xenophon, a soldier, whose army caught behind enemy lines, fought their way home through the Persian Empire. Legend has it that Hill wanted Orson Welles to do a narrated introduction about Greek themes but the studio rejected the idea and refused to pay for it. While the Greek tragedy is clearly present, I think a more apt comparison would be Phil Kaufman’s The Wanderers, or Hill’s own Southern Comfort (1981), in which a squad of National Guards isolated in the Louisiana swamp fight for their lives after the local Cajuns hunt them down.

In its sixth week, The Warriors had grossed $16.4 million, well above it’s estimated $6–7 million budget ranking it among one of Walter Hill’s most financially successful films. This was especially impressive since Paramount was unexpectedly forced to pull the film’s advertising campaign shortly after release, due to some gang violence which erupted inside theaters on its opening week. It might have only served to benefit the film, since the negative publicity acted as free promotion, and the controversy only added to the intrigue. Ever since The Warriors has developed a significant cult following and Entertainment Weekly named it the 16th greatest cult film ever made and ranked it 14th in the list of the “25 Most Controversial Movies Ever”.

warriors2

This is vintage Hill – a colourful film with outrageous costumes, anomalous characters, garish art design, gritty locales and features a noteworthy score by composer Barry de Vorzon and a distinguished soundtrack with tracks by Joe Walsh and Mandrill. Hill does an admirable job amping up the tension, and while it was characterized as violent, there is very little bloodshed present in the film.

The Warriors in short, is a peachy small scale film, full of off-the-cuff production values, an audacious attitude that never once stops to apologize about masquerading as pure fantasy. Pauline Kael of The New Yorker once wrote, “The Warriors is a real moviemaker’s movie: it has in visual terms the kind of impact that ‘Rock Around the Clock’ did behind the titles of Blackboard Jungle.” Enough said.

Written By

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the Sordid Cinema Podcast and NXpress Nintendo Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound On Sight, and host of several podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead podcasts, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Review Bombing Review Bombing

The Rings of Power and Review Bombing: The Online A-Bomb

Culture

HBO MAX/DISCOVERY HBO MAX/DISCOVERY

WTH is Going on with HBO Max/Discovery?

Culture

Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022 Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022

Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022 BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022

Best AEW PPV Matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

Project Wolf Hunting Project Wolf Hunting

Project Wolf Hunting is a Bloody and Entertaining Midnight Delight

Film

While We Watched While We Watched

While We Watched Reveals the Destabilization of Democracy in India

Film

TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films

TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films

Culture

The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past” The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past”

The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past” Sets up Middle Earth’s Second Age

TV

Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022 Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022

Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 3 review disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 3 review disney+

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 3 Can’t Tip The Scales

TV

Actor Dylan Smith (center) Actor Dylan Smith (center)

LOTR: The Rings of Power: An Interview with Actor Dylan Smith

Features

L.A. Confidential Directed by Curtis Hanson L.A. Confidential Directed by Curtis Hanson

25 Years Later: L.A. Confidential is Hollywood’s last great noir

Friday Film Noir

Eastern Promises (2007) Eastern Promises (2007)

Eastern Promises at 15: Cronenberg’s Gangster Triumph 

Film

Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far) Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far)

Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

Marvel D3 2022 Marvel D3 2022

A Breakdown Of Every Marvel Studios Announcement At D23

Culture

Anvil! The Story of Anvil Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Anvil! The Story of Anvil — The Inspiring Story of the Canadian 80s Metal Band

Film

Connect