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'The Warriors' Reunion Was Waiting in a Line in the Rain for Hours

I spent all day on Coney Island in the rain talking to the costumed superfans and actual bikers gathered together for 'The Warriors' reunion.
September 15, 2015, 3:05pm

All photos by the author

For most New Yorkers, Coney Island is a place that you only go when you've passed out drunk on the subway. "Bing bong!," says the subway car. "This is the last stop on this train!" Then you wake up all wasted and covered in vomit and your wallet's gone and then you think, Oh, no. I'm in Coney Island."

I wasn't drunk on Sunday, but I ended up at Coney Island anyway. There was some big Warriors event that started at 10 AM and ended at 11 PM, and I was told to go and cover it.

I'm a big Warriors fan and really like vests, so the culture editor at VICE told me to cover this Warriors reunion in Coney Island. He smokes these big black smelly cigars, and as he told me how I was going to spend my Sunday, he waved his flaming tobacco baton around for emphasis. "You are GOING to the Warriors reunion, so get used to it!"

The subway ride to Coney is 80 minutes from my house. When I finally detrained, I walked to the large fenced-in lot and waited in a line. Once inside the big parking lot, I watched a large group of people in vests wait in another line for many, many hours.

This is Jacob from Long Island. He bought his vest online and it is an official prop replica. Pretty dope. The Warriors fans were all pretty nice and an overall enthusiastic group. I own both versions of the DVD and the PS2 game, so I'm no slouch in loving The Warriors. I also love fanatical movie devotion. All the people who showed up were awesome. Standing in lines is like the worst thing in the world to me though. Fuck standing in a line.

This dude got his vest signed by the cast. That's pretty neat. I'm not really much of an autograph guy, but if I were I'd be stoked. I'm just second-hand stoked for this guy.

This is Steeler. I liked his patches. We discussed how G. G. Allin is the true god of rock 'n' roll.

Here's a page from Steeler's sketchbook.

Everyone assumed I was in costume as one of the Turnbull AC's and kept yelling "You skin-headed fuck!" and taking pictures with me.

This is me with James the Giant Painter and his friend, both of whom flew in from Chicago for this. James told me that he'd been a fan of Dorsey Wright, the guy who played Cleon in The Warriors, since Wright was on White Shadow, a TV show about a high school basketball team with black players and a white coach, which was one of the first interracial TV shows. I couldn't find any evidence that Wright was on it, but maybe he was.

I just liked how this guy looked.

One funny thing was that like half the people were dressed as fake gangs and then the other half of the crowd were actual bikers and car-club people in their real vests. While filming The Warriors, the actors had to take their vests off in between shots so people didn't think they were a real gang.

All the stars of The Warriors were hanging out in this big tented area. I couldn't see any of them from outside, and I wasn't about to wait in a two- or three-hour line just so someone could write their name on a DVD. That's crazy. After civilization ends, I'll happily wait in line for water if I'm still alive and there is unradioactive water available.

Here's what everyone paid $25 to do for a long time. I would also stand in line to get God's autograph. I would wait in line to get a ghost's autograph, but like a real ghost. I would wait in line for an autograph if it meant knowing that an afterlife existed.

This lady has one of the best mohawks I've ever seen and a studded fanny pack that goes on the leg like Hellraiser would use.

We fought this guy on roller skates, and people yelled, "You skin-headed fuck!" at me.

Here's a mime warming his wife in the cold September rain as they waited hours in line for some strangers to write their names on a piece of paper or some shit.

One of the greatest joys that can be had as you age is the joy of not showing up to shit. By this point it was already raining and we were right by the water and everyone was underdressed because we were all wearing vests without shirts, so shit got kinda bleak.

There were some decent vests. It was a good vest fest. I am curious, though, why neither the lady or her vest skull are wearing a turban if she's in the Turban Queens. If I were in the Straw Boater Dukes, you know I'd be wearing a straw boater and my vest skull would have one, too.

I also dug this lady's vest.

Tom Scharpling recently brought up a good point on his podcast, the Best Show. In The Warriors, all these adult criminal gang members are desperate to get back home, so why doesn't it ever occur to them to just steal a car? Either carjacking or hot-wiring would have worked. They must have just been really loyal to public transit.

There really wasn't much to do at this Warriors reunion besides take photos of people who were mostly dressed the same and standing around in a rainy parking lot. It seemed odd that they weren't playing the soundtrack to the movie or anything. There was a DJ playing funk and disco nearby, but I don't think he was connected to the event, and there was also a dancehall DJ spinning and MC'ing a carnival ride.

This guy is Jim, and he installs swimming pools in Vernon, New Jersey. He is also a pretty professional cos-player who dresses as Ivan Drago, Lord Humongous, and lots of other stuff that involves being a well-muscled man. We talked about his workout regimen, and he mentioned that, when he's serious, he drinks two gallons of water a day, which he says speeds up your metabolism. As I write this, I am drinking two gallons of water to get less fat.

I heard that they cancelled the costume contest because of the rain, but this guy dressed as Cochise should have won.

This is my friend Carrie. I wish more women dressed like these two. The world should look more like the cartoon Jem.

I walked around trying to find a decent slice of pizza and came across Ryan A.K.A. "Skeleton Boy." I ended up eating at Nathan's. Around this point I was like, "What the fuck am I going to write about? I've been at this thing for hours and nothing has happened."

The rain was starting to clear up around this point, but it was also dark. Here's the fucking Wonder Wheel.

These people were just waiting around while Sick of It All did a sound check for about an hour.

Sick of It All came out in Warriors vests. As soon as they started playing the loudness of the music and the awful food I ate gave me horrible diarrhea, and I had to take a shit in this really public toilet on a bus, and the bus was swaying from how loud the music was. When I wiped my ass, there was blood on the paper towel, and I thought, I think I've had enough of The Warriors reunion. And then I went home.

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