Can you dig it? New ‘Warriors’ film finally gets to Coney Island

Can you dig it? New ‘Warriors’ film finally gets to Coney Island
Photo by Steve Solomonson

A second Warriors movie has made the arduous journey to Coney Island.

A motley crew of Coney Island filmmakers, in an unholy union with a federation of outlaw biker gangs, have created a short film called “Lost in Coney Island” that’s partly parody and partly social commentary — but wholly in the spirit of the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors.”

“We try to [re]make ‘The Warriors,’ but everything goes wrong, it goes chaotic, haywire,” said actor and director Eric Rivas. “The real outlaw biker world gets wind of it and wants to stomp out the production.”

And when Rivas says “the real outlaw biker world,” it ain’t no front.

Members of the Forbidden Ones, Metal Militia, God’s Only Demons, Filthy Mad Dogs, Dukes, and They’re F—— Crazy motorcycle clubs contributed their time — and Harleys — to lend the film an additional air of authenticity beyond its Coney Island locale.

“What we set out to make was a satire of the way I’ve been making films, an attempt to make ‘The Warriors’ as if it were a dream project of mine,” said Rivas.

The film follows Rivas and crew as they create a modern remake of the ’79 hometown classic, which tells the tale of scrappy Coney Island gang members struggling to return to their beach-side turf as the city’s criminal underworld turns against them.

But the narratives quickly intertwine when, Rivas, playing himself and sporting iconic Warrior colors, makes an eerie premonition early in the movie.

“Sometimes, it’s like life imitates art,” he says to another crew member. “It’s almost like, before you know it, the movie is real. I’ve seen it happen before, bro, it’s weird.”

He isn’t wrong.

As it turns out, Rivas’s production assistant in the film has a jealous ex-boyfriend who’s part of the dandy Coney Island clique the Benaton Boys — a gang that’s more interested in Twitter followers than street smarts.

In a fit of vengeance, the envious ex frames the Warrior film crew by spraying their tag on the facade of a local biker hangout in a scene reminiscent of the source film’s famous opening, when a rival gang member sets up the Warriors for the murder of the five boroughs criminal messiah.

It was at a casting call for actors to play the bikers where Rivas met Mark Ortiz, president and founder of the Metal Militia Motorcycle Club.

But it turned out organizing a gaggle of hog-riding desperados is easier said then done.

“It was tough at first, seeing as I’m friends with outlaw bikers who are used to killing each other back in the day,” said Ortiz. “I had spoken to one club, and you know, I’m not going to mention names, but they said they didn’t want to be seen on camera.”

“Now, they probably regret that,” he added. “This is part of history.”

In addition to the renegade bikers, several cast members from “The Warriors,” including Apache Ramos, who played the vice-president of the Orphans; Dorsey Wright, who played Cleon the Warchief; Thomas Waites, who played Fox, and Avid Harris, who played Cochise, have met with Rivas and cast members, giving the successor film their stamp of approval. They even pledged to make an appearance when the film premiers at the Coney Island Film Festival.

“I love that little film,” said Ramos. “Those guys are the best. I love what they’re doing.”

Ramos went on to applaud the Coney Island crew, whom he calls affectionately “those punk-ass Warriors,” for making the long-awaited remake.

“People have been talking about doing a Warriors remake for years, and these guys actually did it,” he said. “I like the intensity and the realness of it, it’s rough, raw, and real, but at the same time, it’s tongue-in-cheek. I liked it, and I’m going to be there opening date.”

“Lost in Coney Island” at the Coney Island Museum [1208 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (718) 372–5159, www.coneyisland.com] Sept. 22, 4 pm. $7.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4514.