Thursday, March 24, 2011
The WTF Files: THE MIAMI CONNECTION
A rare 35mm print was unearthed recently at the Mayfair, the movie theatre I work at. A 1987 martial arts extravaganza entitled THE MIAMI CONNECTION, produced, written and co-starring one Y.K. Kim, an earnest Korean man with questionable English skills who now runs his own website (ykkimonline.com) and sells motivational DVDs and conducts speaking engagements Ala Tony Robbins. His foray into cinema belongs in the ranks of TROLL 2 and THE ROOM as a hilarious piece of inept filmmaking.
THE MIAMI CONNECTION tells the "story" of a new wave band called Dragon Sound who enjoy their regular gigs at a Miami nightclub where they have adoring fans. Their cushy gig is threatened by a nasty group of biker thugs who hold reign over the cocaine business in the city and for some inexplicable reason, they really hate Dragon Sound. To make matters worse, the gang leader's little sister is the lead singer! Also, a rival band is extremely resentful of Dragon Sound to the point of hiring the coke gang to battle them!
The band, which includes a multi racial group of the nicest musicians you'd ever want to meet, are also roommates who are super supportive of each other and this strong sense of friendship is reflected in their songs like "Friends Forever" and the immortal "Against The Ninja", which foreshadows their bloody battles in the final act.
Yes, ninjas do figure into the plot but don't tell me why or how. Embedded into the violent proceedings is a genuine attempt at having a moral center. Y.K. Kim wants to convey a message of non-violence, but not before ears are sliced open and throats are cut.
What makes this film so bad aside from the obligatory 80s cheesiness is the utter lack of pacing, continuity, as well as pointless montages that go on and on, and worst of all, performances and dialogue readings that are all over the place. In most scenes, the characters speak overlapping dialogue that is often indecipherable and nonsensical. It gives you the sense that the script was written on takeout napkins and most of the dialogue was improvised with competence thrown out the window.
The gleefully entertaining and hilarious nonsense that is THE MIAMI CONNECTION makes it a real midnight crowd pleaser. The 35mm print that I saw came courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin,Texas who are hoping to make it a new cult classic. The trailer posted below speaks volumes of it's unbelievable campiness that make it almost surreal.
*The film is available on DVD only at ykkimonline.com