Retro Review – The Warriors

I’ve got 100s of movie reviews in the can from. Over the next few weeks, I hope to reintroduce my “Guilty Pleasure Movies” to Motion Artifacts. In the mean time, here’s a review for one of my favorite fantastically terrible movies from 2010

The Warriors is an interesting movie. It’s seemingly never on cable yet it has every quality that a good TBS movie has. It’s insanely re-watchable. Nobody tied to the movie went on to do anything worth watching. Seriously… the main character Swan went on to do bit parts in “Walker Texas Ranger” and “Murder She Wrote.” Cyrus (Roger Hill) has been in exactly two movies. David Patrick Kelly is almost a “that guy” in movies… but not quite. Ajax went on to be Harry in the tv show “Dexter.” The best career from an entire movie goes to a guy that gets sixth bill on a cable show that is great but gets 25% of the ratings as the Sopranos.

Anyway, it’s one of my favorite bad movies. I can’t explain everything I love about this movie, but I can assure you if I would’ve seen the tv-version when I was 12 years old, it would’ve been a longtime favorite. Why is it movies that you know are terrible can be completely enjoyable? (See: “Surviving the Game”… no seriously, you should see it.) I’m trying to doing one of these

0:01 – My first thought from the first time I watched this movie was how weird this music was. Upon subsequent viewings, I’ve gotta say that the music has grown on me to the point where it’s possibly my favorite music from a movie ever. If you listen to my podcast, you’ve probably figured out I enjoy the music of the Warriors, though.

0:06 – My favorite gang idea that’s not in the movie – a black cowboy gang. Kind of like Larry Fishborne on the Pee Wee Herman Show. How great would it have been if there was in the scene in the movie where some black guy with a jheri curl with a cowboy hat and a mouthful of chaw says “…you boys ain’t from around here, are ya?” By the way, if you ever look up “jheri curl” on Google Images, you get what is quite possibly the best collection of images on the entire internet. I challenge anyone to show me a page that tops it…

0:09 – Cyrus has to have the most memorable 3 minutes of screen time in the history of cinema. It’s possibly my favorite part of the movie and yet he’s dead in a matter of moments. On a side note, I think I’m going to start to add the word “suckas” behind every fifth sentence. Just because.

0:10 – Our first “…can you dig iiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttt” of the movie. As great as I remember it.

0:12 – I’m surprised this speech hasn’t been used for the intro of a big football game… especially talking about “turf” and staying together. Somebody could splice this together nicely.

0:13 – Nevermind… I guess Cyrus lasted 4 minutes.

0:14 – Another sidenote… I want a list of every relevant movie made in NYC in the 70s and 80s. Aren’t 90% of them enjoyable? If nothing else, I really dig the feeling of late 70s New York.

0:15 – Maybe this “one gang” to rule them all theory was never going to work in the first place. After the very first bit of conflict, a thousand of people are running every which direction and the Warriors are public enemy number one because one random guy with terrible hair said “The Warriors did it!” If all it takes is one person to say “he did it” to corrupt and entire justice system (albeit vigilante justice), maybe Cyrus’s plan wasn’t so prolific.

0:17 – One of my ten favorite lines of the movie that sounds retarded if I try to say. They’re asking if anyone has seen Cleon. “I seen him then he wasn’t there no more. I was hauling ass.”

0:18 – Another reason this might not have been the best idea ever… not exactly rocket scientists running the gangs. They were meeting in Central Park. They’re from Coney Island. They claim it’s 50 miles. Google Maps thinks it’s more like 20.

0:19 – For the record, here are my favorite things to come out of Coney Island. 1) The Warriors. 2) “The Last Shot” by Darcy Frey. 3) Jesus Shuttlesworth. 4) “The Jump” (book about Sebastian Telfair). 5) Lou Gossett Jr. 6) Marv Albert’s “Yes” call. 1,753,942) Stephon Marbury’s head tattoo.

0:20 – My wife and I recently had a baby girl. Had we had a boy, though, I would’ve been completely fine with using any of the names of the Warriors for my son. My favorite, obviously, is Cleon Hanson. If Cleon Hanson wasn’t the captain of Bill Simmons’ “Reggie Cleveland All-Stars”, I don’t know who is.

0:21 – If this movie was made in 1999 instead of 1979, there is a chance that we would have gotten a sequel. More important than the sequel, though… we probably would’ve gotten an eventual spinoff movie on the Gramercy Riffs. If you haven’t seen the movie, the Riffs are THE single coolest gang I’ve ever seen in my life. Two side notes here… first, if I was black, I dress for Halloween as a member of the Gramercy Riffs every single year. Second – if any team ever plays the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs, they’ve gotta splice this scene up so it says the following:
“Who are the Warriors? I want them all. I want all the Warriors. I want them alive if possible. If not… wasted. But I want them. Send the word.”

0:22 – I love two things about the radio dj scenes. First of all, the radio dj is the Chief from “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” (is that game still around… it should be). Second, I love the term “boppers.” Can we bring that term back?

0:26 – These gang names are incredibly cool. “The Turnbull ACs.” Sounds like a Premier League soccer team. Which reminds me… a gang of soccer hooligans would make for a great Warriors gang. It’d be even better if they had a chip on their shoulder because nobody in America cares about soccer (except for me… haven’t hardly missed a World Cup game thanks to my daughters morning feedings).

0:31 – Another top ten line of the movie. “Hey – what about the money you owe?” “FOR WHAT?!?!”

0:32 – The Orphans! How freaking creative is this movie. A gang of misfits/homeless. I love that the leader looks like a skinny Zach Braff.

0:34 – Another classic (but under the radar) line. “The Orphans right? Yeah… our youth worker talks about you guys all the time.”

0:40 – “You see what you get when you mess with the orphans?” “We’re gonna rain on you Warriors!” 30 seconds later, a car explodes (nobody is presumably injured), but the Warriors are home free. This is the movie equivalent of guaranteeing a victory followed by getting thumped.

0:46 – My absolute highlight of the movie. The Baseball Furies. If you haven’t seen the Warriors, the Baseball Furies are a gang that dress like a combination of Kiss and the New York Yankees. They obviously aren’t super effective, but they are the coolest gang in the movie (with all due respect to the gang that rolls around in rollerskates and striped sweaters at the end of the movie). A few years ago we saw “Freddy vs. Jason”. In my dream world, we’ll one day see “Riffs vs. Furies.”

0:49 – Another classic line “I’ll shove that bat up your *** and turn you into a popsicle.” The only way this could be cooler would be if it was spoken by Christopher Walken.

0:54 – Zero percent chance a scene like this could be put into a modern movie. One of the guys thinks to himself ‘hmm… I might go force myself on this lady sitting on a park bench by myself.’

1:00 – Another classic scene. The black/Indian looking guy in the Warrior says “Chicks like you always have dudes around.”

1:04 – I love it when bad movies get preachy. Swan tells Mercy “I don’t like the way you live… I don’t think you know who you get on Friday night.” Less than 45 seconds later, he’s making out with her.

1:05 – This isn’t necessarily related to the Warriors, but have you noticed that every movie/picture you’ve seen from the 70s, 95% of the people were skinny. There are a thousand fad diets. Don’t eat this. Don’t eat that. I’m going to start a new fad diet called “Would the Bee Gees have eaten this?”

1:08 – Long before Tila Tequilla was around to warp our sense of sexuality/lesbians, we had pop culture references like the Warriors that paint lesbians as a whole as a militant bunch. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case, but at the same time, I miss the reference. In the same way, I’m glad that USA and Russia now get along, but I miss Russia being the bad guy in all of the Cold War movies of the 80s. Can you imagine how much Rocky 4 would’ve sucked if they made it in 2010 and it wasn’t Rocky vs. Ivan Drago and the whole empire of Russia (steroids and all!)

1:11 – Hell yeah! It’s the gang of bib overalls and skates. I’ve honestly seen this movie about 50 times (all within the last five years) and I get giddy every time these guys come on the screen.

1:13 – Love this part. Mercy points out that the guys with the skates are after Swan. He says “I know they’re on my ass. Now they know I know.”

1:17 – Modern movies may have all of the CGI and cool effects in the world. I’ll take a fight with baseball bats in a bathroom any day. Guys going through mirrors and breaking porcelain toilets just feels more authentic than John Cena or Rampage Jackson fighting while hanging out of a helicopter. I suppose to each his own, though.

1:20 – This would be legitimately scary. You’re out on a date. Dressed up in your fancy clothes. You look up and there are a bunch of tough looking people that are bloodied and bruised not talking to each other but staring right at you. I’d get off on the very next stop, too.

1:24 – Signature moment in the movie. “Warriors… come out toooo pllllaayyyyyyyy.” If the Golden State Warriors don’t somehow have this incorporated into their pre-game intros, they are the dumbest franchise in the history of the universe.

1:28 – Luther, who is supposed to be the toughest of tough guys ever, is taken out because Swan throws a knife which sticks into his wrist. I’m talking completely incapacitated. I’m not calling him a pansy, but I’ve seen ultimate fighters go five rounds with two broken hands and continue after getting kicked square in the balls. This is maybe revisionist history, but maybe Luther wasn’t a very tough guy at all. He’s maybe the Robin Ventura of modern cinema.