makes one a Chewer? It isn’t just reading CHUD.com regularly, although
that’s a great start. It definitely isn’t being an expert at
mastication. Being a Chewer requires a certain sensibility that’s
outside of the mainstream. Sure, a Chewer can hold his or her own in a Star Wars
OT vs PT argument with a standard movie geek, and sure, a Chewer can go
with the rest of the film snobs to an Ozu revival, but a Chewer also
gets really, really excited about the DVD release of The Manitou.
the next few weeks we’re going to be bringing you The CHUD.com
Essential Films Collection – the films that would be in our dream
Chewer DVD Box Set. These are 50 movies that we think every Chewer
should see and love. This is by no means the definitive list of movies
that make one a Chewer, but it’s a good start. It’s also in no order –
the first films that we list are just as essential as the last ones.
And it’s a list that will leave off the obvious as much as possible –
you don’t need us to tell you to see Lawrence of Arabia or Seven
fire up your Netflix or your Amazon accounts – every day we’ll be
bringing you two movies that are worth seeing, and probably worth
owning as well. Chew on, Chewers.
Why it’s Essential: Let’s have a rundown of the participants of this masterwork:
Ted Kotcheff directed North Dallas Forty, First Blood, and Uncommon Valor. The man must ejaculate pure stamina and puke thunderclaps with that manly track record.
Reb Brown is fucking YOR.
Randall “Tex” Cobb is half man, half Yeti, and all great.
Fred Ward isn’t just Remo Williams and the premier Graboid hater, but also Hoke Mosely and owner of the best pugilist’s mug in Hollywood.
Tim Thomerson feels dry hair’s for squids and is probably right.
Patrick Swayze rips men’s throats out by the river and that’s just in Dirty Dancing.
Gene Hackman may have a career ahead of him if he’d just make a few movies.
Robert Stack’s last name is Stack and you really have no idea how tough that is.
Michael Dudikoff could have probably head-butted Al Queada to death on 9/10.
This film is essential. Like sunlight. Like the little kids and old people at Oskar Schindler’s factory. Like Ving Rhames’ bottle of Nair.
Why it’s Essential: At this point The Warriors is almost too beloved for this list , especially with the recent release of a pretty excellent Warriors video game. But that just means everybody else is waking up to what CHUD knew long ago – this is a great, fun movie that’s completely unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The Warriors manages to be a great New York City film – it was really shot on the streets of the city – while actually in no way resembling the town. Director Walter Hill has created an alternate reality New York, filled with his version of street gangs, who were cartoonishly amplified versions of the real deals who were running the Bronx at the time, and their fights are filled with the kind of over the top movie violence you see in Westerns. The whole picture is heightened to a wonderful degree.
Hill’s casting is pretty terrific – most of the actors were, and remain to this day, unknowns (which allows you to rewatch the movie with just about zero baggage), but he filled two roles with actors who would be iconic: Ajax was played by James Remar, a man who would go on to be enough of an ubiquitous character actor tough guy that he would be asked to fill Christopher Lambert’s shoes in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and David Patrick Kelly, whose equally long character actor career would forever be haunted by the specter of “Waaaariors” Come out and playayayay!”
Last summer the Alamo Rolling Roadshow came to New York and played The Warriors on a big screen on Coney Island, with almost all of the original actors dug up from their day jobs to be there. It was one of those transcendent moments that can only happen when a movie is the right mixture of campy, funny and legitimately exciting and entertaining. It’s just a whole lot of fucking fun, done very well.
Note: This entry only applies to the original cut of The Warriors. Walter Hill’s ill-advised Director’s Cut takes a lot of the fun out of the movie by adding lame comic book panel transitions and by cutting the glorious entrance of the Baseball Furies.