miami connectionDrafthouse Films
1987
R

“They don’t make buns like that down at the bakery.”

In the pantheon of So Bad They’re Good movies that have graced my eyeballs and earholes since I can remember, there are a few that seem to transcend their own ineptitude and become classics merely out of the sheer might of their popularity with the fanbase, languishing in abject obscurity only to be discovered by one person, who helped to bring it to the masses of Cheesy Bad Movie loves everywhere.

Such is the tale of the movie Miami Connection.

Like the other greats in the list of classic bad movies, the making of Miami Connection itself adds to the overall awesomeness. It’s downright inspirational: Co-writer/producer/actor Y.K. Kim arrived here in America in 1976, homeless and not knowing English very goodly. Before that, he grew up in Korea, and received the black belt in Taekwando when he was 13. After hitting American soil, he began opening up Taekwando schools on the East Coast, eventually landing in Orlando with a school that was described by the local paper as “the McDonald’s of martial arts schools.” I think that was meant to describe the franchise nature, and not a dig at the quality. Then, by the mid-80s, he teamed up with Korean director Richard Park and made Miami Connection in 1987. Nifty.

Of course, upon the initial release, the movie was lambasted by critics, and sadly fell into the void of obscurity…that is, until 2009, when a programmer at the Alamo Drafthouse bought a 35mm print of the movie off of eBay and screened it one night. The reaction to the movie was tremendously positive, which lead to the Drafthouse guys to try to buy the licensing to give the movie a proper DVD release. Once Y.K. Kim realized the guys weren’t joking, the world finally got Miami Connection unleashed in all it’s resplendent glory in 2012.

But, enough of the history lesson. Let’s get to the movie, shall we?

The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf. Multi-national martial arts rock band Dragon Sound have had enough, and embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice. When not chasing beach bunnies or performing their hit song “Against the Ninja,” Mark and the boys are kicking and chopping at the drug world’s smelliest underbelly. It’ll take every ounce of their blood and courage, but Dragon Sound can’t stop until they’ve completely destroyed the dealers, the drunk bikers, the kill-crazy ninjas, the middle-aged thugs, the “stupid cocaine”…and the entire MIAMI CONNECTION!!!

Miami Connection is a revelation of a movie. This transcends the So Bad Its Good label, and ascends into the pantheon of Great Bad Movies by the sheer earnest ridiculousness of it all. The overacting is amazingly over-the-top, plot points are hammered in out of nowhere (one of the band members finds his biological father! and the ensuing scene chewing is jaw-dropping), everyone’s a biker ninja, and I find myself desiring a bootleg tee-shirt of the fake band in this movie.

I’ll go ahead and get to the point: Not only does everyone need to watch this, everyone needs to own their own copy of Miami Connection and watch it at least once a year.

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