I was introduced to Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” thanks to my dad who rented the film on VHS back in the early nineties. For him it was a long time favorite, and our entrance in to the gangster action picture gave us a look in to a surefire classic that has gone unparalleled since its release in 1979. Hill adapted the movie from the original novel, which itself was taken from a period tale by author Sol Yurick, and took us in to a world steeped in crime and violence where an inconspicuous group from Coney Island has to prove themselves and survive long enough to make it back to their home turf.
With admittedly exaggerated depictions of gang war fare, along with a slick depiction of action and combat, it’s hard to believe “The Warriors” garnered such controversy during its time. Hill’s film live on an as iconic action survival picture set in the urban jungle where a big for peace, inspires all out war thanks to a psychopath and a revolver. With one gun shot, The Warriors are marked and targeted by every gang in New York, forcing them to rely on their wits and each other to get home by dawn and re-unite with their legion of members. With “The Warriors” playing at the Alamo is Yonkers; I thought I’d list five reasons why Walter Hill’s film is still the best Gang Picture of all time.
Almost forty years later, director John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13” is still an excellent and mean contemporary western that never lets up on its audience. Director Carpenter has a knack for lensing the world to look like an alien habitat filled with despair and evil, and “Assault” is no exception. What begins as moving day for a local precinct descends in to violence, chaos, and murder with an enemy that will stop at nothing to quench its thirst for vengeance.
John Carpenter is perhaps one of my favorite task masters of the cinematic realm. He’s a man who can change form and tone on a dime, and loves film so much he creates his own tribute to certain genre tropes without relying on them as a crutch. Much as I love Quentin Tarantino, he can force much of his inspiration for his films down audiences throats. Carpenter has always been so much more subtle in his love for the classic films he adored. He never quite had the budget to make westerns nor the studio backing, so he opted to make his own Westerns but in their contemporary settings. Hence, Snake Plissken. John Carpenter is the type of director I’d love to be should I ever lens a film someday. His films garner a style all their own and deliver in action and entertainment.