“Can you dig it?! CAN YOU DIIIIGGGG IT?!”
Most of us probably remember Shaquille O’Neal exclaiming this when the Lakers won the championship, and it was actually him reciting a line from The Warriors, which in the opinion of many, myself included, is one of the best action films ever made.
The movie’s lean and mean, getting a lot of action in a tight 90 minutes, it’s got great fight choreography, and it still has a devoted following of fans, among whom I proudly declare myself.
My hopes recently went up when I saw a report on Cinema Blend that Hill may be directing a western with Mickey Rourke starring, but that report was swiftly debunked, which is a damn shame. I’ve been rooting for Hill to come back for a long time, and he made a pretty good action film ten years ago that nobody saw called Undisputed that deserves another look.
It was Hill’s second film about boxing, the first Hard Times, which starred Charles Bronson, is an unsung classic from the 70’s. Considering that Hill also loves westerns, it would be great to see him do another one again. (Hill made a western in 1980 with The Long Riders).
Hill had worked previously with Sam Peckinpah, who gave us The Wild Bunch, and I’m sure Sam taught Walter a thing or two about tight, explosive action. (Hill wrote Peckinpah’s The Getaway, which starred Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw). He also invented the modern buddy cop comedy with 48 Hours, and did his own version of Drive back in the 70’s with The Driver, again, another under-rated gem.
I also should mention that Hill also made a wonderful movie called Crossroads, where Ralph Macchio is a lover of the blues who meets his guitar playing idol, and helps him fight back for his soul. As the urban legend goes, famed blueseman Robert Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads at midnight to get his amazing playing skills, and this was a play on that story. Did I also mention that Hill also produced the Alien series, and did a rewrite on the first Alien script with David Giler? (He’s also got a producer credit on Prometheus).
The latest film Hill completed, Bullet to the Head, starring Sylvester Stallone, has been moved from Warner Brothers’s schedule to next year, but Hill rarely looks back, and if his latest film is troubled, I’m sure he’ll be on to another picture soon. Here’s also hoping he’ll come up with another winner again, another “Walter Hill” movie, that will show audiences what gritty, big screen action’s all about.