What set The Warriors apart from most films (at the time) was how stylized it was. Starting with how very eccentric and themed all the different gangs were:
The Grammercy Riffs: The biggest and most feared gang made up of Black Kung Fu artist.
The Lizzies: The punk, all-girl gang.
The Boppers: The Harlem crew who looked like 1920s gangsters.
The Turnball AC’s: The skinhead, rabid, “Mad-Max” psychopaths.
The Baseball Furies: The gang dressed like the New York Yankees with facepaint and big bats!
This is just a few of the 20 or more gangs featured in this film. But it was enough to have every 10-year-old boy’s imagination working overtime!
Though there wasn’t a ton of dialogue in the film, the performances were strong all the way through. Especially that of Lynne Thigpen, who plays “The Voice,” a radio DJ who gave the other gangs sightings of The Warriors so they could continue their hunt. And though you never see her entire face in the whole film except for her lips, she brings the much-needed weight that makes the film feel legit.
Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who played the mouthy, tough-girl Mercy who helps The Warriors navigate through the dangerous city, was a stand-out! You go from wanting her to get pushed into ongoing traffic, to loving her by the end. Valkenburgh, though not a household name, has been consistently working in Hollywood even to this day. But her role as Mercy is still the one she gets the most recognition for!