The Warriors (1979): Yell! Magazine’s Greatest Films Series

But Union Square is not in the cards for the Warriors yet. For some reason only the director Walter Hill knows, the train stands waiting at a the 96th St. Station (Riverside Park area in Manhattan). Perhaps it is ahead of schedule and needs to wait. Whatever the reason, its delay results in an opportunity for the cops, who are patrolling the subways trying to round up every gang in the city, to see the Warriors. The gang rushes out of the train and a chase ensues. During the chaos the gang gets split up.

The Fox and Mercy go one way, Swan, Cowboy, Snowball, and Ajax go another, and Conchise, Vermin and Rembrandt escape a third way. While on a platform with Mercy, The Fox is grabbed by a cop who was hiding behind a pillar. The two men struggle to the ground rolling on top of each other until tragedy strikes. The police officer tosses The Fox onto the subway tracks where a train runs over him. While this is happening Mercy escapes. The Warriors are now down to seven members.

Conchise and his two companions make it back to the train heading to Union Square and the three leave the station without the others. As for Swan and his group, they manage to find an exit out of the station and end up on the street to meet the Warrior’s next opponents. The Baseball Furies are a gang who enjoys the theatrical. Dressed in baseball uniforms with pinstripes, they also wear face paint to disguise their appearance and instill fear in their opponents. Baseball bats are their choice of weapon.

Seeing that they are outnumbered and without weapons, Swan and the others run away. The Furies follow and the chase begins. The two gangs end up in a park where Swan and Snowball split from the others. The Furies follow Ajax and Cowboy allowing Swan and Snowball to come up from the rear to confront a Fury lagging behind his team mates. Swan makes quit work of the guy and now has a bat. He and Snowball rush after the others.

Cowboy is having difficulty keeping up the pace of the sprint. He tells Ajax he can’t continue and Ajax is elated. Ajax has hated running from gangs throughout the night and now he will have a chance to bust some heads. The two stop and turn to face the Furies. Ajax downs his first opponent with devastating right to the face but Cowboy isn’t as fortunate. The leader of the Furies (Jerry Hewitt) quickly knocks out Cowboy with the fat end of his bat. He then faces Ajax as the rest of the Furies surround the Warrior. Ajax tells the Furies leader that he will take the bat and shove it up the man’s ass hence turning him into a Popsicle.

The Furies leader grabs the attention of Ajax with his adept manipulation of the bat moving it from one hand to the other like an artist. But the show doesn’t have the desired effect as the Furies leader swings and misses. Ajax nails the man in the gut then while he is bent over finishes him with a knee to the face. The melee has given time for Swan and Snowball to gain ground and they enter the fray.

The three Warriors show their superior fighting skills as they win every confrontation until all the Furies are all writhing injured on the grass. Swan wakes Cowboy and with bats in hand the group walk back toward the 96th St. Station. But Ajax’s fight has not finished. He is the better of any man, it’s too bad his next opponent comes in the form of a seductive temptress.

Meanwhile, Conchise, Vermin and Rembrandt arrive at Union Square. As they see none of the other Warriors they decide to approach a group of women hanging out near the stairs by the station’s exit. Rembrandt doesn’t want anything to do with the girls wanting the group to stick close to where they are and wait for the others. But Conchise and Vermin look at the women as an opportunity for some sexual recreation.

Back at the park, Undercover policewoman Mercedes Ruehl is sitting on a bench. As Swan, Ajax, Snowball and Cowboy walk by she smiles at them. The invitation stirs the juices of Ajax and the balls that gave him an advantage over his male counterparts when pertaining to combat have now opened him up to some sexual trickery. Against the advice of his companions, who tell him to think with his brain rather than his crotch, he departs the group and engages the woman in a conversation. She invites him to sit down and asks him if he would like to show her how he plays with the chicks. Ajax attacks the woman and during the fracas she manages to handcuff the Warrior to the bench. She whistles and a police car speeds up and the officers subdue Ajax. Cowboy and Snowball, who return to watch out for Ajax while Swan continues on to the station to find the others, witness Ajax’s arrest. The Warriors are now reduced to six.

Swan reaches the station and Mercy is there waiting. They head to the platform for the train to Union Square but cops surround them. Swan leads Mercy into the tunnel to escape. As the train arrives to block the tunnel, the police don’t follow.

The three Warriors at Union Square are led to the girls clubhouse. We learn the group are called the Lizzies, a subtle change in the spelling for the slang word for lesbians, but the Warriors don’t pick up on it. The girls offer themselves up for sex which Conchise and Vermin readily accept. Rembrandt, on the other hand, spurns all of the girls advances, choosing rather to watch out for the other two. Knowing that they are in foreign territory, without the others knowing their location, and the girls seeming to be much too generous with a gang showing their mark, he is quite suspicious.

Swan and Mercy, now out of danger, take a break from walking through the tunnel to relieve some sexual tension building up since the time they first met back in Orphan territory. Swan is at first on board but then changes his mind calling Mercy nothing more than part of everything going wrong for the gang that night. They split company.


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