"20th Anniversary Of The Movie, "The Warriors"; How It Sparked Controversy When It Was First Released And Why It Revolutionized Action Movies." NPR's Weekend Edition. Scott Simon. NPR, US. 20 Feb 1999.
This transcript from a 1999 NPR Radio show discusses why on the 20th anniversary of The Warriors, it should be remembered. The main reason mentioned is that it was the precursor to a genre of action film. It was the raw, gritty style with an emphasis on character development instead of dialog to push the plot forward. Also it inspired much of the current generation of film directors in their style. It discusses that there is a sort of paranoia derived from the premise of the movie, the fact that 60,000 gang members could take over and run New York City. This notion alone gives the viewers of this movie a strong sense of the power that the masses could have.
The aspects of the genre that this film really influenced includes very choreographed fights and action, a move taken from Bruce Lee type Kung-Fu movies. The way the fight scene was assembled made the members of the Warriors appear to be heroic in a sense.
It is questioned whether The Warriors is actually an anti-gang movie, but this notion is quickly shut down since the movie clearly shows the unified gangs breaking down into individual factions once again.
Duncum, Paul. "Attractions to Violence and the Limits of Education." The Journal of Aesthetic Education 40.4(2006): 21-38.
This article attempts to examine violence in the media and educate youth on how to act in the real world so violence is not used as a solution to their problems. It cites the following forms of media as sources of violence: television, film, video, and computer games. There are also four different types of violence that can be seen in the media: comic, transgressive, retaliatory, and gratuitous. The author wonders why, from a psychological standpoint, people are attracted to violence. A couple of possible reasons are given such as: exploitation of the worst in human nature or a product of an increasingly degenerate society or maybe just a fashion statement or possibly just finding pure pleasure in the art of violence.
Comic violence is defined pretty clearly by example with any Tarantino film. His film clearly spoofs and parodies other super violent films. Additionally, professional wrestling fits into this category. Transgressive violence is any violence having to do with heroism through violence. It includes superheroes beating super-villains and enjoying the retribution being seen. This category surprisingly also includes a game such as Grand Theft Auto, where you embrace the villain and want to succeed as the villain. Retaliatory violence always has to do with retribution. When you feel bad for a character, you want them to get their revenge. Finally, gratuitous violence is when there is an overwhelming amount of violence that is unlimited in every sense of the word. It is all about grandeur and gore. Startin in the 1960s, media became more and more violent. Now, the line between good and evil gets blurred and the level of gore and shock has increased dramatically in media.
This article relates to the thesis by explaining the different types of violence seen in the media. It points out that gratuitous violence would be the most likely candidate to cause real world violence because the media appeals most to that type of person; however, it is unlikely to cause such actions because the people who would really go on rampages do not get the level of excitement from the film, because they would rather have the real life thrill. This article also explains how people are more aggressive prior to viewing the media than after, further supporting the idea that violent media does not cause violence.
Keegan, Paul. "Computer Games like Quake and Doom probably won't turn your son into a killer. But what is happening to kids raised on the most violent, interactive mass-media entertainment ever devised?." Mother Jones Nov 1999 04 Apr 2008 .
This article revolves around a visit to E3, an annual gaming tradeshow. Its focus is to discuss the different genres of video games, but in particular the violent ones. It then attempts to analyze why these violent games become so popular. Throughout, there is always a hesitant tone as the Columbine shootings had occurred only three weeks prior to this conference. There is discussion of the ESRB rating system and how it is hardly enforced by parents or rental stores. The article proceeds to look at Myst, an extremely popular game that involves no violence whatsoever. Its appeal was solely through beautifully rendered images and fog that the character walks through on its mysterious journey. It is however noted that something seemed to be missing from this experience. That is where real-time 3D comes into play. It is a new generation of cutting edge computer games that render the scenery on the fly, completely immersing the player in the gameplay. This type of play has an appeal due to the adrenaline rush and excitement it causes that more static, slow paced games like Myst cannot match. These types of games undoubtedly engage the player deeply into their digital surroundings. It suggests that playing violent video games for extended periods of time numbs the player to the violence and they create a level of tolerance for violence.
This article relates to the topic by examining super violent video games, real-time 3D games in particular and their effect on players. It is pretty evident that despite their incredible ability to immerse the player in the gameplay, the ones playing are able to keep the game and real life separate. The only times when this is untrue when other circumstances are involved, in the case of Columbine, mental instability in two kids who happened to enjoy these types of games were some other circumstances. Like viewers of The Warriors, most will not become overwhelmed by the violence and will respond absolutely normally. Those who act out in response to the film are doing so because they have issues and not solely because of the violence being seen.
Gunckel, Colin. "“Gangs Gone Wild”: Low-Budget Gang Documentaries." The Velvet Light Trap 60(2007): 37-46.
This article discusses gangs and how they are portrayed in the public media through exploitation documentary. It questions whether the way they are being shown is the best way to do so because it glamorizes the gang lifestyle to the public, possibly corrupting the youth’s view of gangs. This article analyses the trend of gang based documentaries and the effect it has on the film industry. Specifically The World Most Dangerous Gang, a documentary on La Mara Salvatrucha portrays the gang in a poor light for the public eye. It uses a sensationalistic and exploitative method turning it into more entertainment than a serious documentary should be. Then it discusses different types of films made for release direct to DVD. These raw documentaries are cheap and easy exploitations to create. Film series such as Bumfights and Girls Gone Wild are cited as examples of the genre of exploitation documentary.
This article relates to The Warriors in that it exploits the gang genre, in a manner that glamorizes the gang lifestyle. It creates allure to the violent life led by gang members. With all the glamour, it could possible cause viewers of the film to get overly excited by the film and act irrationally. This violence might extend into real-life and cause serious injury or death, as occured in the days following The Warriors's public release. The gang exploitation film genre has been designed in such a way using rap soundtracks and flashy images of gang members that it would appeal to viewers similarly to how it has been argued that The Warriors appeals violence to its viewers.
Croft, Martin, and Nathalie Kilby. "Mortal Kombat Viral Is Tool For Bullying, Claims Charity." Marketing Week 16 Nov 2006: 3.
This article explains how an anti-bullying charity group is complaining about a video game campaign for Mortal Kombat. In this campaign people are directed to a website where they can upload images of their friends to be superimposed on the fighting video game characters. These superimposed Mortal Kombat characters are then sent to that person in the form of a “Death Diss” whereby the character is brutally murdered. The charity Bullying Online worries that real life bullies will upload images of their enemies to this site and it will only cause issues between the two parties in question. It states that the site has already seen examples of people using this viral marketing tool as a malicious way to insult somebody. A complaint about this advertisement campaign was made to the Advertising Standards Authority, the leading groups in controlling advertising. It is unknown if this campaign will cause the dreaded actions Bullying Online is worrying about.
This article relates to the thesis because violent media is being used in a manner that could potentially cause a movement to action by the receiving end of this viral marketing campaign. There are great worries by Bullying Online that such an advertising campaign might enrage somebody so much that they might react very violently against the opposing person. Just as The Warriors caused a few kids to act violently due to the violent media being viewed, there is a concern that this viral marketing campaign could cause the same response.
“The Warriors Stirs Up Violent Storm." Globe and Mail [Canada] 02 Mar 1979.
The article discusses the level of violence that The Warriors has as well as the violence focused advertising campaign. It cites two specific occasions where real life violence occurred directly after a viewing of the film. It is discussed how critics connected the violence to the film and the film production company Paramount denies any connection between the events and the film. Despite their denial, they still changed a number of things regarding the film. The advertising campaign was completely modified and reduced to only include the name of the film, the theatres it was playing at and the times it was being shown. Also, free additionally security guards were paid to work at theatres showing the film by Paramount.
This article related to the thesis in the fact that it discusses the events surrounding the release of the film. The gang-film genre is exemplified and magnified very well through The Warriors as it is a very stereotypical gang film in some senses and has the real-life violence surrounding it.
Arnold, Gary. “Two Movie 'Sleepers' That Woke Up Fast; Neighborhood Rumble; 'The Warriors' -- Surly Kids Pack a Box-Office Wallop." Washington Post 18 Mar 1979, Final: H1.
The article discusses in depth the release week of The Warriors. It mentions the advertising campaign used as well as the post-release actions taken by Paramount. Due to the two killing that occurred that week that were associated and linked to the viewing of the film Paramount offered to all theatres, free of charge, additional security guards as a precautionary measure. Also it touches on the fact that after the first (successful) weekend, all conventional advertising for the film was pulled due to the angle taken with the advertising campaign putting the film in a bad light, further associating it with the real life violence that occurred surrounding it. Additionally it discusses other precautions that were taken, including allowing theaters to discontinue showing of the film without penalty. After 2 weeks of successful film showing without violence, the advertising campaign re-expanded to include favorable reviews that had been occurring over the release weeks.
This article reviews another article written for Reuters where Sol Yurick, the author of the book The Warriors is based off of, discusses his opinion of the violence occurring in response to the film’s release. Both he and Paramount deny that the film itself is the cause of the two deaths. Yurick stated that another film out at the same time had much more violence than The Warriors, so the film's violence could not fairly be blamed for the deaths that occurred. Paramount stated that these consequences never occurred to them because they were filming the movie in a style very related to fantasy. It is a well known fact that this film is based off of the Greek myth Xenophon's "Anabasis" thus holding the level of fantasy true. Addionally, the level of choreography in The Warrior’s fight scene is very apparent and holds the film back from the level of realism required for such claims to be valid.
Therefore the film could not have possibly caused the realworld violence that critics had claimed and blamed on The Warriors. It instead, must have been a set of coincidences that were wrongfully associated with a artfully violent film.
Jones, Gerard. "Violent Media is Good for Kids." Mother Jones 29 June 2000 04 Apr 2008.
This article, unlike most, supports violent media for consumption by youth. The author recounts his youth when he was a quiet, lonely, and reclusive child who was broken out of his shell when he encountered comics about The Incredible Hulk. Reading about the Hulk gave him a fantasy self to support his self-confidence and allow him to do things he could otherwise not do. He later tested this concept on his son who was afraid to climb a tree with his friends by reading him Tarzan comics. For his son, the violent Tarzan comics created an imaginary alter ego to help him overcome personal hurdles. It is noted that all people want to experience fear, greed, power-hunger, and rage but cannot, so experiencing them vicariously through others, is a solution for them. Violent media is also useful to young people by helping them improve their self-knowledge and potential through heroic, combative storytelling. Pretending to have superpowers helps them to overcome a sense of powerlessness. Using this violence as tool is very important to overcome life’s challenges. The author does not deny that many video games may have inspired forms of violence in some kids, but argues that for every one that it hurt, it helped hundreds. The author finally warns that if parents are to shield their children from violent media then they will inevitably be shielding them also from power and selfhood.
This relates to the thesis by discussing how violent media affects the youth. He feels strongly that media such as The Warriors is a vital asset to youth as a method of emotional support. Most people need some sort of system to give them confidence in activities they would otherwise be uncomfortable partaking in. So in the case of The Warriors, the film would be very useful as a means of physical confidence and strength.
Canby, Vincent. "When A Tame Film Inspires Violence." New York Times 04 May 1979: D19.
The article discusses and considers whether it is possible that a film such as The Warriors could possibly be the cause of 3 deaths that supposedly occurred due to the film’s release. It discusses the advertising campaign as well as the precautions taken by Paramount by supplying additions security guard to theatres showing the film. It is questioned whether “yanking” the film from theatres would have been an appropriate plan of action for the film which was causing headline news regarding association to three deaths. But the notion is quickly dismissed since doing so would be a poor precedent for similar occurrences in the future. The author argues that a better solution would be to handle the potential situation on a local level, having each theatres act responsibly for itself and be prepared for whatever situation could arise. It is next investigated why this particular film would incite such excitement as there are plenty of other films with much more violence than The Warriors. Despite being a genre much used during the World War II era, the “Lost Patrol” film has been reworked for The Warriors in a fashion that leaves all of the members very vulnerable throughout. The author of the article states that he wonders how anyone could possibly get so inflamed over a film filled completely with a mish-mash of clichés and moods. Its feel throughout is not terror, but instead parody. As evidenced by the film's two major fight scenes, they appear choreographed and rehearsed and despite the use of lethal weapons, none of the fighters get killed or even injured badly.
This article attempts to pick apart The Warriors in a manner that would learn what would cause such a vitriolic response. It comes to the conclusion that a film such as The Warriors could not possibly cause such a response because of its heavy reliance on fantasy and parody.