Cinecultist received an advance copy of the new special edition DVD of the 1979 film, The Warriors in the mail and finally last night got around to watching it with a little Chinese take-out at the Capn's Brooklyn abode. After properly freaking him out by correctly identifying both the guy who plays Richard Wright from Sex and the City and then Oscar-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl from the film's cast, Matty still agreed to discuss the kitch-tastic film with Cinecultist. Here goes.
CC: All right, so then. The Warriors.
CC: so i found out from my coworker today that as we suspected, what is added in this special edition dvd version is the comic book interludes. other than that, it's the same movie.
CC: i don't know if this makes the new version more cohesive, but i can understand why the director thought no one would get those references (as he says in his commentary track) because other than what was added, i didn't see it in the original footage. what did you think? upon a little more reflection was it too cheesy for words or good wholesome, gang-related fun?
M: It didn't hit me the way I'd hoped. Certainly, it was entertaining and "Warriors, come out and plaaa-aaay!" will be stuck in my head for all eternity, but the characters weren't memorable enough.
CC: yes, it's a movie that relies mostly on cliche, rather than characterization. cliche and really weird costumes.
M: i think i might be a fury for halloween. Either that or the guys with the purple vests. So hot.
CC: any one of those weirdo costumes would make great outfits for halloween, except for maybe the orphans. there was something so downtrodden and hang dog about them, i don't think anyone would want to be pretending to be in that gang. i also thought one of the other kitchy fun bits of the film was the soundtrack. serious synthesizer for the closeted williamsburgher in us all.
M: definitely. The composer talked about that in the special features. Apparently synths were pretty new and he was really excited about it. You may remember his work from the Exorcist III. A true classic.
CC: really, who can forget that soundtrack? if they've seen it. which i think i might have -- in the 6th grade.
M: I jest, but I did like the music. It was the glue that kept this film together. That and the animated sequences that were added for the directors cut. E III, it was one of the defining moments in my life. That and learning to walk. They're neck-and-neck for importance. Were you down with the whole Greek battle/myth thing the director was going for?
CC: well, it's one of those things where i guess i see it, if i squint my eyes and turn my head slightly to the left but mostly, it seems like a stretch. a stretch to make this movie seem more like a "classic." why can't it just be kitchy fun that is totally of and for it's era? what's so wrong with being that?
M: I'm with you there. The fifteen minutes on the "phenomenon" of the Warriors was ridiculous. All of the actors are telling us how this film was the defining moment of their careers. Of course it was, because most of them went on to do bit parts in various crappy movies. Then again, maybe we would feel differently if we had actually seen this when it was released. People do seem to be mildly excited about this release.
CC: People in my office knew about it right away, when I mentioned it today. It's a thing, apparently.
M: So, we lack that personal connection. You can't call something a classic if it doesn't resonate with snarky twenty-somethings a couple decades later.
CC: i concur. we should be considered the litmus test on snarky and twenty-something.
M: Litmus is my maiden name. (Not really, but it's more interesting than middle.)