Let me start by pointing out that this blog entry is merely an excuse to post this Panther Books edition cover of Sol Yurick’s ‘The Warriors’ up here as some form of thug motivation.
That’s the only reason.
[[And before I commence rambling, big up Carri for the brief but brilliant Cassetteplaya show at Men’s day for LFW today – I thought I’d underdressed with the Polo, camo and AF1 Duck Boots, but her having ‘Bingo’ by Gucci Mane and ‘Salute’ by Dipset as a catwalk soundtrack (complete with models painted gold with gold hi-tops to match) vindicated my sartorial choice. The blazers, wood-handled umbrellas and leather holdalls around me were out-of-place, unless they concealed “Louie belts with the guns still tucked in ’em.” I doubt they did.]]
This cover just looks awkward — the gang member depicted looks about forty for starters, with a Mercedes badge and non-menacing font on the back. Where’s the sleeveless cut vests? If I started a gang, we’d rock the Undercoverism sleeveless hoodies (shouts to Acyde), the IronHeart black denim numbers, or — if we were hard up — prison fatigue jackets at £3.50 a throw. But then just as this cover hardly represents its content, the original novel bears very little resemblance to the final film. At least there’s a substantial resemblance between Richard Price’s ‘The Wanderers’ and the resulting film – both classics, even if some of the darker short stories in the former were excised.
Despite the whitey on the cover there, the main gang aren’t tactically mixed-race and they’re not even called the Warriors — they’re called the Dominators, and the Dominators are pretty brutal, making the book a far more gritty affair. While it’s still a trashy read, it’s not half as daft as the film. The same applies to Leon Garfield’s anti-vigilante novel ‘Death Wish’ and the subsequent “adaptation.” But I still love the films these books inspired, even if both authors were left fairly pissed off.
They still seem to be scheming a ‘Warriors’ remake with Tony Scott involved. This is a bad idea. His ‘Man on Fire’ was good (though I favour the Scott Glenn version — a onetime Sky Movies late night staple), but his version of ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ was insipid.
This remake could well be a repeat of John McTiernan’s dreadful ‘Rollerball’ remix of a few years ago. I’m still smarting from the director’s cut of the original (the comic book captions and “Sometime in the future…” concept are badly misjudged), but Walter Hill is still one of my favourite directors — I concur with this tribute here. Anyone who directs ‘Extreme Prejudice’ has earned the right to fuck with own his films to his heart’s content. At least the novelization came over a decade before the film itself — anyone else remember the 1983 Scarface novelization which opens with Tony getting his face cut in Cuba by a cuckolded love rival? That book even ended with Tony being blown to bits by his own rocket launcher. Liberties. Major liberties.
It’s nice to know that the more obscure ‘Warriors’ gangs have been named in recent years. The UK fansite is phenomenal. Not only does it let you know who was a Jones Street Boy, that those fucking mimes were the Hi-Hats and that the camp-looking Moonrunners repped for Pelham, there’s a whole thread dedicated to identifying every other gang in the film that’s just mind-bogglingly exhaustive. There’s even some replica vests being produced within that community of obsessives.
I hope the remake gets put on the backburner — despite some tough competition from Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Luther impression during ‘Shame on a Nigga’ and Puffy’s prior to the ‘Flava in Ya Ear’ remix, I still love the ‘Crunk Muzik’ video…notwithstanding the rollerblade content. Isn’t that what a crappy update would end up looking like?
And ya’ll might know your ’80 Blocks From Tiffany’s’, but I still want to see more video footage from the 1971 Hoe Avenue Truce meeting which inspired the Cyrus-led park gathering that opens ‘The Warriors’ — there’s footage in Henry Chalfont and Rita Fecher’s ‘Flyin’ Cut Sleeves’…though apparently that was all strictly for show, with the real truce being a more thugged-out affair, worked out behind-the-scenes…