Directed by Walter Hill
Produced by Lawrence Gordon
Written by David Shaber & Walter Hill
Based on a novel by Sol Yurick
Cast: Michael Beck, James Remar, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, David Harris, David Patrick Kelly, Brian Tyler, Tom McKitterick, Marcelino Sanchez, Terry Michos & Thomas G. Waites
1.78:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Paramount DVD
New York, by night the city is ruled by street gangs. There are over 100 000 soldiers of the night, they outnumber the police five to one. Nine members of every gang are invited to meet the mystical and magical Cyrus, leader of the Gramercy Riffs which happens to be the biggest gang of them all. The charismatic man wants all the gangs to form a truce so they can work together and rule the city. Unfortunately, someone shoots Cyrus and The Warriors, a Coney Island clan who are far from home, are framed for the murders. Soon all of the street gangs in New York City are after them!
The Warriors must get back to Coney Island but every "bopper" in town wants a piece of them since word is given out to all the gangs of the city that the Warriors must pay. There's the not too good looking Orphans, the bus driving Turnbull A.C., the baseball wielding and make-up wearing Baseball Furies, a female gang called The Lizzies, the skate rolling Punks and the police. Even the kung-fu fighthing Riffs are after them but its is The Rogues, lead by Luther (Kelly who would play a rather similar role years later in THE CROW) who they must be afraid one as he is one sick individual.
Back in 1979, Paramount scored big with Hill's masterpiece. Beautifuly shot, stylish, nicely paced, loaded with action, 70s slang, comic book characters, kung-fu type fights, afros and colorful costumes, THE WARRIORS had all the elements for success. Controversy spawned as gangs around the States started to re-act some of the elements of the film, leading some protest groups for the banning of the film. This is also one of the film that the Italian post nuke genre took most of their ideas from. A different cut was done for the television version which featured a day scene at the beginning of the film. Michael Beck would go on to play in XANADU. Not surprisingly, Paramount Pictures and MTV Films are about to do a remake to be directed by Tony Scott.
Another thing that don't surprise me is the lack of effort Paramount did on this disc. If there's one film that needed to get a special edition treatment it was THE WARRIORS. What's up with that god awful cover?! Why didn't they use the original artwork of the painting with all the gang members?! Shame on you Paramount. The film is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and it is enhanced for 16x9 television. The image looks good but nothing spectacular. There's a few scratches and blips but nothing alarming, thankfully the blacks are righ and deep... something much needed for a film that takes place 99% at night. The original Mono track is presented here and does a good job. We have the choice of either English or French audio, a remastered Dolby Surround track would have been interesting but then again, this is Paramount we're talking about. The only extra we get is the theatrical trailer. The menus look nice but are static. The film is separated in 14 chapters, comes in a keep case with a rather useless and poor looking inlay card.
This is one of the all time great and it is the best way to see it. Hopefully if there's one thing good that might come out of the remake it would be a new special edition of Hill's film on DVD, "Can you dig it?"
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©