The Warriors is one of those classic movies that's hard to pin down- it's a dystopian action thriller that also perfectly captures elements of life in the NYC in the 70s and 80s.
But it's also a drama with a heroic underdog story, and certain scenes are downright terrifying, thereby giving it a horror edge.
But in the end The Warriors is a movie about street gangs, and 21 distinctly different gangs appear on screen in the movie, from the top dog Gramercy Riffs to the lowly Warriors, who are just trying to live long enough to make a name for themselves.
(The Gramercy Riffs) In the hierarchy of street gangs, The Gramercy Riffs are at the very top. And it’s their leader—Cyrus—who organizes the midnight summit in Van Cortlandt Park that sets off the plot.
(The Warriors) The titular gang from Coney Island set the pace and plot of the film, as they attempt to make their way from the Bronx to Brooklyn after being framed for the murder of Cyrus, The Gramercy Riffs’ leader. Unfortunately for The Warriors, they’re being pursued by the rest of the gangs on this list.
Most of the gangs in the movie, like the Riffs, Rogues and Turnbull AC's, are based on real life gangs, while other, more far out gangs like the Baseball Furies or The Hi-Hats, are there to give the movie a sci-fi edge.
(The Rogues) “The Rogues” is an appropriate name for this Hell’s Kitchen crew, as they operate by their own set of rules. It’s their leader, Luther, who is the real shooter, and also the first to point the finger at The Warriors. Luther also has a knack for offering up some of the film’s most memorable catchphrases. Though actor David Patrick Kelly has long been credited with improvising the now-famous “Waaaaarriors, come out to plaaaay” line, he insists it was Hill. “I’ll take credit for the bottles and how I said it,” Kelly told Entertainment Weekly in 2012. “But I remember him kicking in the lines.”
(Turnbull A.C.'s) The Turnbull AC’s are easy to recognize for two reasons: They’re all bald, and they ride around the city in an old bus. It’s that same bus that the gang uses to try and run down The Warriors shortly after the summit breaks up (the Turnbull AC’s are the first group The Warriors must face off against).
(Baseball Furies) The Baseball Furies take their identity seriously, with each member decked out in a Yankees-style baseball uniform. Which may not seem all that frightening ... until they whip out their baseball bats.
(The Hi-Hats) The SoHo-based Hi-Hats might be the best proof Hill has got that he intended for The Warriors to be a fantasy film. Because clowns are scary, and mimes are not.