The folks behind Drafthouse Films have exhumed this rare, seldom seen action fest from 1987 and given it new life.
Miami Connection is a hilariously inept, yet thoroughly enjoyable picture, the product of first time actors, writers and directors who clearly seem to be making things up as they go along, while having a ball the entire time.
The plot details are simple, and deal with a band of five orphaned Orlando Taekwondo martial artists who practice their moves during the day, and play cheesy 80s pop rock by night. Meanwhile, a motorcycle riding ninja squad is moving cocaine from Miami to the Orlando bar in which 'Dragon Sound' wow their fans with sexy stage moves and smooth 80s synth ballads. It's up to Dragon Sound-led by Taekwondo master Mark, played with gut-busting earnestness by writer and co-director Y. K. Kim-to take down the cartel, as well as the gang of thugs who are assisting them in their nefarious business.
Add in a ham-fisted love story between the band's bassist John (Vincent Hirsch) and their newest member Jane (Kathy Collier)-who also happens to be the sister of the opposing gang's leader, 'natch-and you basically have the recipe for an hour-and-a-half of ass kicking action, complete with blood spraying decapitations and slow motion spin kicks galore.
What makes Miami Connection such a rip-roaring success is how straight and serious everyone in the production plays their respective roles. Clearly, everyone involved was trying their best to achieve the standards of such 80s action contemporaries as Norris, Stallone and Dudikoff, and this innocence shines through despite the film's obvious limitations, not the least of which is Kim's thick, almost indecipherable Korean accent. The fact that much of the film around Kim is dubbed makes his performance that much more side-splitting.
...and then there's Dragon Sound. The performance scenes and candid sequences shot on the beach or in their house all showcase the actors' obvious inexperience as they stumble over their (ad libbed?) lines and speak simultaneously to incoherent effect. One particularly funny scene is when Jim, 'played' by Maurice Smith, is emoting to his roommates about his long lost father, the results of which simply must be seen to be believed.
Drafthouse Films will be re-releasing Miami Connection to theatres for a limited engagement this November, with a DVD and Blu-Ray release to follow in December, complete with Y. K. Kim commentary. The film is a must-see for genre buffs and bad movie fanatics everywhere, for Miami Connection is the stuff of which best worst movie dreams are made.
'MIAMI CONNECTION' WILL BE MAKING ITS OFFICIAL BOSTON PREMIERE AT THE BRATTLE THEATRE IN NOVEMBER!
PRE-ORDER 'MIAMI CONNECTION' ON AMAZON!