Our second Scalarama film was in regular rotation at the legendary Scala cinema and is a film that been on our ‘also rans’ list for far too long.
Walter Hill’s hip, super-stylized action film unfurls in a dystopian near-future, when various gangs control New York City. Each gang sports a unique moniker (‘The Warriors,’ ‘The Baseball Furies,’ ‘The Rogues’), with a costume underscoring its theme; each, in turn, is also responsible for one geographic area.
Hill sets up the landscape as a massive, violent playground – replete with bridges, vacant subway tunnels, parks, abandoned buildings and the like, all ripe for exploration and adventure. Throughout, Hill keeps the onscreen violence absurd, exaggerated and unrealistic, downplaying death to an extreme degree; despite this fact, the film sparked a massive amount of controversy and an ugly backlash for allegedly inciting violence and destruction in several theatres where it initially played.