Certain films are so potent andcaptivating that they fuck up an entire generation of kids.
The Warriors is one of those movies for me. During the early years of cable TV my friends would stay up late and watch violent movies like The Warriors and then, full of adrenaline and unreleased agression, we'd sneak out and vandalize a golf course or something. Along with movies like Enter the Dragon, Escape from New York, Excalibur, Mad Max, and Death Race 2000, The Warriors is one of those movies that launched my lifelong love of genre entertainment.
It is also directly responsible for Young Dave and his friends getting their asses kicked by mean older kids - but that's a story for another day.
One of the things that made The Warriors so damn cool was Ajax, the brash gang member played by a young James Remar. Ajax is all bravado and bad attitude - he's sort of the Han Solo of the group, and Remar plays him with a perpetual scowl. Ajax would suck if he was just a blowhard, but as he repeatedly demonstrates, his mouth writes the checks and his fists cash 'em. Ajax is a total bad ass.
He gets to prove how awesome he is when The Warriors (fourof them anyway) get attacked by the Baseball Furies, a gang of creepy silent guys in baseball uniforms and KISS makeup. They're outnumbered, so The Warriors queue up the John Carpenter synth soundtrack and make a run for it. Ultimately it comes time to stop running and start kicking the living bejeesus out of the Baseball Furies, which Ajax does with verve and elan.
Hey kids! Dave's favorite James Remar line is at the 3:32 mark!
Truly The Warriors represents a bigone age of cinema, when you could build a movie around a slightly subversive central idea and a couple of decent analog fight scenes. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for The Warriors and its ilk, even if it was a bad influence and got me beat up. I don't blame James Remar, though. If anything, my relationship to The Warriors showed me that everyone takes a hit now and then. Sometimes you're the guy with the baseball bat, and sometimes you're the popsicle.
Thank you for that wisdom, Warriors. And thank you, James Remar.