Based loosely on the tale of Xenophon's Anabasis, where Greek mercenaries find themselves deep behind enemy lines, the Warriors find themselves in the Bronx, falsely fingered for the murder of Cyrus, the leader of the Gramercy Riffs.
After that, it's no sleep till Brooklyn as Swan (Michael Beck), the Warriors' chief, leads his eight troops through rival gang turf to the boardwalks of Coney Island they call home.
The rival gangs are the most memorable aspect of this flick. From the Rogues (who caused all of the Warriors' problems), the Mad Max-like Turnbull ACs, the hapless Orphans (who weren't on the "network," according to the Riffs), to the Benataresque girl-gang, the Lizzies.
Don't forget the infamous bat-wielding, face-painted Baseball Furies, all of whom looked like members of Kiss, which makes sense considering the rock band was the inspiration for the admittedly clueless costume designer, Bobbie Mannix. Between the actual gangs used during filming and the fictional ones Hill dreamt up, there were more than 80 posses - including one called the Phillies.
While there is no running commentary track, four featurettes are fairly impressive. Most interesting are a narrative by Orson Welles that fell through; Mercedes Ruehl's appearance on American screens for the first time; and the fact that the "Warriors, come out to play" scene by David Patrick Kelly (who played the Rogues' leader, Luther) was based on an experience with a next-door neighbor who used to taunt him.
Contact staff writer Rob Watson at 215-854-5608 or email@example.com.
The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut
With Michael Beck, Tom McKitterick, James Remar, Marcelino Sanches, Dorsey Wright, Terry Michos, Brian Tyler, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, and more.
Parent's guide: R (violence, profanity)
The extras: ***
"The Warriors: The Beginning," "The Warriors: Battleground," "The Warriors: The Way Home," "The Warriors: The Phenomenon."