Coke bottles clanging together, the sound ringing down a dark, wet alley. A voice calls out menacingly:
“Warriors…. Come out and Play-yay…..”
The Warriors (1979) is many things. It is a classical Epic tale (like Homer’s Odyssey). It is a pulpy cult classic with a look all its own (co-starring the New York Transit System and a bunch of dudes on rollerskates). It is a gangland movie. It is a spectacle.
Picture New York in the Late 1970s, poster child of ‘urban decay’. Now picture a late night meeting of every Gangmember from all five boroughs. In that meeting, a gangland kingpin named Cyrus (attempting to unite the Gangs of New York into one indomitable threat), is assassinated by an unknown assailant. Somehow, one member of the Warriors is fingered. Suddenly, the hunt is on to wipe them off the map, and their struggle becomes making it to their home turf (Coney Island) by daybreak. This becomes horribly difficult as night progresses, and gangs come out of the woodwork to avenge the death of Cyrus. Super-fun, no wonder it was made into a video game. Each gang rumble plays out like a “level”. In the final scene, with Coney Island Beach as a backdrop, everything comes to a head.
NOTE: In real life, Coney Island (gritty neon playground of New York [and homebase of the Warriors]) has had its future in jeopardy. Mayor Bloomberg plans to destroy what is there and create a squeaky-clean remake of the island a’la the Times Square revamp. Click here to learn about the campaign to take the grit out of Coney Island (and the community-based backlash).
Another NOTE: You can catch “The Warriors” on the big screen March 6 & 7th (this Friday and Saturday) at the Music Box Theatre (3700 North on Southport, accessible via the CTA Brown Line) at Midnight.