The Warriors -1979-


Directed by Walter Hill. 93 mins.

Worth my time? Yes. (Watched on DVD)

The third installment in the Hillmography is one of the director’s best-know works, probably just a few notches below 48 Hrs. When I first saw The Warriors around age 15 or so, I thought it was garbage. I don’t know if my taste in film has changed in the subsequent years, but I got a big kick out of it this time around. The fact that I watched it without editing and commercials certainly helped.

The Warriors is even more dated than The Driver. Unlike its predecessor, however, The Warriors doesn’t feel dated. Every aspect of this film is so stylized that the whole product transcends its real-world setting (New York City, 1979) and becomes a separate, timeless universe. Having a seemingly omniscient/omnipresent DJ narrating the story adds is a very nice touch, almost bordering on science-fiction. Personally, I think that the film is most enjoyable when I think of it as a prequel to John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. Try it!

Don’t go into The Warriors expecting airtight logic; there are plenty of holes. Who knows how a street gang wearing cumbersome, flowing robes became the predominant force in the city? How could “regular street-gang news reports” possibly a profitable format on FM radio? How long does it take for the Baseball Furies to apply their makeup?

The Warriors is essentially a comic book, and you should enjoy it as such. Unless you’re a relentless nitpicker (or if you’re one of those comic geeks who whined until DC caved and did Crisis on Infinite Earths), I’ll bet you can dig it.

– The film’s score (courtesy of Barry De Vorzon and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh) is awesome.

(Seen and originally written on 2013-01- 25)