adrycoolwit’s review published on Letterboxd:
A neon sex glinting off rain-stained streets wet dream.
A kinetic, surrealistic, survivalist, action film masterpiece.
And just like he did in STREETS OF FIRE, Walter Hill has created a dark, grimy, violent, hyper-real dangerous world that I kind of wish I could exist in.
There's a certain level of coziness in his darkness.
These worlds are broken glass comfort foods. They might hurt you, but they taste so good.
Colourful characters exist in the shadows and once again, like its sister film, STREETS OF FIRE, THE WARRIORS lives in the shadows and feeds off the colours of its quirky inhabitants.
With THE WARRIORS and (to invoke its name a 3rd time like it's made from Beetlejuice) STREETS OF FIRE, I have a severe retroactive crush on the impossibly beautiful and intensely tough Deborah Van Valkenburgh.
Walter Hill wasn't so much a director as he was a mad fucking scientist that was experimenting with tones and narrative and vibes and mood. And once he pours all these volatile filmic chemicals together, he ends up blowing up the fucking lab and contaminating the entire neighborhood with a heavy dose of effortless cool and relentless momentum.
I think this film is a bit of a cinematic bedfellow with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Their worlds share a nihilistic funk motif.
And just like some of Carpenter's best early work, the upper echelon of Hill's oeuvre possess simple plots and larger than life characters that stomp their way off the celluloid frames.
They chew scenery for breakfast and spit out badassisms for lunch. They thrive in Hell and win 3-legged dance-offs with the Devil.
They couldn't exist in the real world and we're all jealous of them for it.
Some movies try really hard to be cool.
THE WARRIORS successfully fucks those movies right off and swaggers off into the sunset-less horizon of almost always perpetually night-laden worlds.
These characters look out of place in the daylight. The city looks normal and real all of a sudden. And the gangs feel like a dream that dragged along at your heels and crept into the waking world by force.
But it works. The Warriors marched their way out of the shadows to suddenly exist in reality. And they earned a level of predatory respect in doing so.
A dark, despair-soaked urban fable that pushes past its violent, once upon a timing roots with machismo'd charm and testosterone hearts to burst forth into a happied ending of sandy beaches and blossoming young love.
Basically, this film does most of the anti-mainstream things that studios these days would heart-attack over.
It's the controlled chaos of a madman with a clear vision only he can see.
And it's beautiful to behold.
I CAN dig it.