Essentially a glorified B-movie. Not sure if it really qualifies for 'cult' status but there is certainly enough iconography and tropes to warrant the glut of its many subsequent imitations. With an almost guerilla style, Hill's rough and ready film-making helps to breathe an authenticity into its gritty world.
Cult cinema at its finest. The Warriors has stood the test of time not because of its technical brilliance, but because its dystopian vision of New York is so thoroughly executed. Every gang brings their own peculiar charm & the soundtrack oozes cool, all under the backdrop of a fascinatingly squalid 70s NYC closer to fact than fiction. The Warrior's hasn't aged too well, but you can still dig it suckas.
I saw this in the early 80s and have always remembered it. Good to see it again and see that it's still a bit special. The story is very simple: get home alive, but I see it now as almost elegaic; more concerned with aesthetic, atmosphere and dynamic tension than story telling.
A gang have to make it back to their home turf of Coney Island with every other gang in the city, AND the cops, out to bust their heads. Despite seriously strong competition from many of his other movies, this may well remain the best thing that Walter Hill ever did. A simple concept is nicely fleshed out, and each adversarial gang is given a unique style and look, making each one memorable.
One of the most interesting features of the film is its liaison with the visual language of graphic novel tableaus. It is used as means of stylization unterlining the artificiality of the whole story. From the beginning this style signals that the audience doesn't have to expect a normal or realistic narrative but (located in a near future) a modern metaphor for mythic events, a kind of mythical journey.