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The morbius glass schlock, horror, 80’s, grindhouse, sex and violence movie marathon. Gang Flicks: The Warriors, The Wanders, Bronx Warriors and Class of 1984

Posted by Adrian on January 10, 2008

Gang flicks, remember them? A lot of these movies came out in the 1980’s and late 1970’s describing the ‘frightening’ phenomenon of teenage gangs. Most probably a spill over from the teen gang flicks of the 50′ and 60’s ala James Dean Rebel Without a Cause etc. But the 1970’s and 1980’s movie gangs were cooler more violent, hysterical and in some cases way over the top and improbable. Playing more on that conservative, white middle class fear of young people, and the “kids” of the future will be your worst nightmare paranoia. You get the idea right?

The Warriors was one of those improbable gang movies (I mean check this quote from The Warriors movie poster, “These are the armies of the night. They are 100,000 strong. They outnumber the cops five to one. They could run New York City.”), but it was so cool. Made in 1979 and directed by Walter Hill, The Warriors still holds that funky 70’s feel which immortalises the kitsch and schlock cult status, so “can you dig it”?

The Wanders, one of my favorite gang flicks, although not a ‘in future the gangs will take over’ flick. This one was based in the early 1960’s in NYC, but with some nice exaggerated moments, the cliche Asian Kung Fu gang the “The Wongs” and the supernatural (catholics), psychotic Irish gang the “Ducky boys”. The Wanders is not a serious film, but it’s a well made, well produced and interesting movie for it’s time (made in 1979 and directed by Philip Kaufman). Like the Warriors, the movie centers around a teenage gang The Wanders, an all Italian gang and their problems with each other, family, girls and other rival gangs. With it all eventuating into climatic orgy of violence and turmoil at the end of the movie. Good stuff.

and the final fight, this is a classic scene…

As the 1980’s crept up, the gang genre took a turn further into fantasy land. More so indicative of the influence that the Australian 1979 movie Mad Max had on the Italian ‘gang’ exploitation movies at the time, and the countless rip offs of Mad Max from god awful Italian made homages. Check out 2019: After the Fall of New York. But, when you look at these movies now you do see the cult appeal (don’t look too hard though). No matter how bad these flicks are, that 80’s Italian exploitation cinema does fit that ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ (good in a kinda crappy way, if that makes sense?).

1990: Bronx Warriors is that kind of movie, it’s bad, it’s schlock, but it’s a blast. Italian directors at the time seem obsessed by filming the background story in a future New York, full of lawless gangs, or gangs that take the law into their own hands (which ever way you want to look at it). Nevertheless Bronx Warriors is a cult classic with bad haircuts, bad outfits, bad dubbing and a bad story. Directed by Enzo G. Castellari in 1983 and almost a complete rip off of John Carpenter’s 1981 classic Escape from New York.

I remember seeing 1990: Bronx Warriors on video in 1984, there seem to be an estimation (by the writers of these lawless ‘futuristic’ gang movies), or forward bet that the world was going down the toilet in either 1990, or in 2000 (at some point). As most of these flicks were made in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I don’t think there was conscious decision to open a future portal to apocalyptic visions. More a capitalization on movies that did do the future apocalyptic gang stories well, such as George Miller’s Mad Max and John Carpenter’s Escape from New York.

Suffice to say, fun for all. Check it:

Opening credits from 1990: Bronx Warriors

and since I couldn’t find a trailer for 1990: Bronx Warriors, replacement is the formidable crapola future gang flick 2019: After the Fall of New York

Continuing with the future forecast year movie titles, the rather nasty Class of 1984 directed by Mark L. Lester , is in someways a memorable type movie experience under the gang genera banner. Made in 1982, it was an over the top ‘expose’ of the 80’s US schooling system, gangs, drugs, bullies and chaos. It is actually a well acted movie with solid performances from Timothy Van Patten who plays Peter Stegman the gangs leader, the teacher Andrew Norris (played by Perry King), who ends up being the mild mannered (or maybe not so mild) vigilante. There is sex, drug taking (memory there was a heron shooting up scene), a ton of violence, a rape scene and general carnage. Lester could have possibly modeled aspects of the characters from Clockwork Orange (classic gang flick directed by Stanley Kubrick).

Class of 1984 is a classic, and obviously still resonates a ‘ban’ or censored blacklist, as youtube will not show the trailer and some of the scenes from the movie. It is a fantasy (and a dated one at that) with an unrealistic version of punks in the 1980’s running a drug cartel and the school. But all and all worth checking out.

So sorry no trailer, but here is the movie poster



2 Responses to “The morbius glass schlock, horror, 80’s, grindhouse, sex and violence movie marathon. Gang Flicks: The Warriors, The Wanders, Bronx Warriors and Class of 1984”

  1. sir jorge said

    this movie bored me

  2. Adrian said

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