The Warriors is a cult classic movie, based on the novel by Michael Strip which in turn was based on a Greek myth , about a gang stranded in northern New York, and who now must travel across the city to reach their home in Corney Island, after they are framed for a murder they didn't commit.
The year is 1979, and the Warriors are a fearsome street gang from Coney Island, with an astonishing 9 members. Crayon, the loveable black leader, tells them through rap that they are invited to a massive gang meeting with over a thousand gang members from all across the city. While these one thousand rival gangs were packed into a small park - to everyone's astonishment - violence broke out amongst them, and the most powerful leader, Cyrus, is shot dead. Insane crack addict and rival gang leader Luther blames it on the Warriors' own Crayon. With Crayon killed by martial artists, the Warriors must go through some edgy montages of the gang walking across the streets, and reach a warehouse in southern New York City. (In the 70s, skyscrapers hadn't yet been invented and so New York looks like a dystopian sci-fi flick).
Along the way, the 7 gang members fight (there are eight in total, but Remberandt doesn't fight, he just watches the rest) their way across several gang turfs and halfway through the film forget why they're being hunted and learn for the second time that they were framed. After a police chase the crew are split up and forced to meet at a rendezvous point; on the way, Ajax kindly helps a woman at the park, but she turns out to be an undercover feminist and has him arrested for attempted rape; while Fox changes into another actor moments before being thrown onto an oncoming train. When they meet up at Coney, the Warriors win the final boss battle. The crew walk home in slow motion in a classic '70s happy ending.
- Crayon: Crayon is the leader of the Warriors. He's tough and smart, but some bullies throw him in a dumpster at the beginning of the movie. The other Warriors escape the bullies by hiding in a toy store.
- Swoon: the hero of the tale, (getting his name from the fact that women swoon over him) Swoon is an adventurer from a tribe of fighters. His superpowers include super strength and knife-throw-into-your-wrist-ing ability.
- Banjax: Banjax, being the alpha male of the group, is known to interrupt conversations and activities by holding out his large throbbing man-rection and flaying it about getting them into trouble. It has also gotten them out of certain trouble. Banjax's dialogue consists of two lines applicable to any situation; "I figured they was wimps", his catchphrase after each gang battle, and "going faggot", used in every other situation.
- Cochise: the black comedy relief Warrior. Forms a comedy duo with Shermin, and a threesome when a woman gets involved.
- Shermin: The white comedy relief Warrior, probably of Italian descent, Shermin is one of Fonzie's many illegitimate children.
- Riff Raff: known as the artist of the gang, sometimes referred to as "the artist formerly known as the Puerto Rican version of almost-forgotten 1970s singer Leo Sayer". Riff Raff is the prepubescent Warrior whose general concern is whether or not his mother is going to kill him for staying up too late.
- Pirate: Pirate joined up with the gang when they visited the New York coast. He believes that he lives in the 1400s and always wears a pirate hat. He has the lowest HP out of the Warriors, as is evident by his being knocked out first in any gang fight.
- Coke: the gang's drug dealer, he provides them all with "flash", which is Warriors lingo for "generic drug name to avoid copyright issues brought on by product placement".
- Cyrus: played by the currently famous wrestler and then emerging actor The Rock (cast at the time to promote his career), Cyrus is known for his famous catch phrase, "Can you dig what Cyrus is cooking?".
- Merci Beaucoup: a female character, who tags along with The Warriors during their travels and who is invisible to all the members except Swoon. She exists solely to antagonise the gang.
- Bastian: a little boy with a great imagination who is reading the story of The Warriors' travels from a book. However, young Bastian is slowly finding out that it is more than just a story.
Differences to the novel
The film was adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Strip, published in the mid 1960s. Due to the time difference, the film is noticeably different to the novel. The most notable difference is that the novel consists entirely of text that describes the events, while the film reveals the story through use of visuals and imagery.
- Due to his disappointment of the adaptation of his novel, Michael Strip asked not to be credited and that he be paid twice as much. Instead, he got a credit that filled the entire screen and showed for the full two hours of the film. He also had his pay cut in half causing him only to receive 50 cents for the rights.
- A week before the first day of shooting, Sol Yurick (Swoon) was involved in a car crash and broke his left leg in three places, his right leg in five places, fractured all his toes, suffered a massive concussion causing problems in his equilibrium, lost three fingers, developed paranoia and cracked five ribs. Because of this incident it was written into the script that his character "walked a little funny".
- Due to its low budget, the film had to be shot entirely in the director's back garden. Fortunately, his back garden turned out to be New York.
The Cartoon Series
As a tie in with the movie, a cartoon series called "The Adventures of The Warriors" was aired by Nickelodeon for two seasons. The cartoon included the voices of some of the original actors and was a lighter version in which The Warriors were a group of five who solved crimes by breakdancing. At the end of every episode Swoon would dispense some sage advice.
Where are they now?
- Sol Yurick (Swoon): after The Warriors, Sol continued his acting career playing smaller parts in TV shows after which he moved on to become an author. Unfortunately, because his book is a retelling of the greek Anabasis, Yurick was sued for plagiarism by Zeus himself.
- Terry S. Chocolate-Orange (Shermin): gave up acting to become the host of the quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. While working there, he slowly became Chris Tarrant.
- David Harris (Cochise): due to a case of serious method acting, David Harris still believes he is in the story of the film. No one has had the heart to tell him the truth. To this day he can be found walking through the streets of New York muttering parts of the dialogue from the film to himself.
- Kelly Patrick David Patrick Kelly (Loser): ever since the Warriors, he has continuously played lamer and lamer characters. Second, Arnie promised to kill him last but he lied.