Miami Connection (1987)

The IMDb Synopsis of of Miami Connection states “A martial arts rock band goes up against a band of motorcycle ninjas who have tightened their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade.”. This sounds absolutely mental, but it is also the most clear and concise way of summarising what essentially is a batshit crazy film.  

This film does centre around a martial arts rock band. They are Dragon Sounds, a group of orphaned. Taekwondo loving men, who play classic 80s rock and sing about friendship. They play at this club and are very popular, but a rival band doesn’t like them and so has a word with the ninjas to have them killed, which is a bit extreme. This allows Dragon Sounds to show off their super cool Taekwondo moves and defeat all the ninjas.

The real star of this movie is Y.K. Kim. Y.K. Kim plays Mark, one of the many guitarists from Dragon Sounds. He may hold a guitar but the majority of what he does when they are on stage is smile and have a really nice time. It takes a while in the film for him to emerge as the main character. Typically in a movie you get the idea who the lead / main protagonist is quite early on. Mark isn’t established at all. I thought he was an extra for the first chunk of this movie. Speaking of extras, there are many scenes in this movie where I can’t take my eyes off them. I don’t want to be disparaging but extra work doesn’t seem too difficult. Just blend in to the background, act normal, don’t do anything that makes you stand out. These extras ignore that and really go for it. It is like someone dressed a bunch of geography teachers up as tough guys and ninjas and told them to look menacing.

There is also a strange side plot involving the keyboard player Jim finding his long lost father. When he does find him the band all pool their money together to buy him a suit, because when you meet your father for the first time you need to be wearing a suit. Anyway, ninjas attack, Jim almost dies, and meets him father for the first time in hospital. That suit was a waste of money.

Let’s Talk Money

Y.K. Kim put up millions of dollars to produce, promote and distribute himself. The film opened in a few Florida cities as well as West Germany (for some reason) and did not do very well. It almost bankrupt Y.K. Kim. I don’t want to be cruel but a disillusioned, eccentric character putting up a lot of money for a film that they will write, produce and star in, is guaranteed to be a brilliant failure. A lot of heart went into the making of this movie, but sadly it lacked any form of talent.

Looking for a Positive.

It is obvious that Y.K. Kim knows martial arts. He is pretty good at it. The other band members, not so much. The problem is the fight choreography and editing are dreadful. SO we will see Mark do a pretty good kick, then a pause, then he is somewhere else kicking someone else. It feels like a video a small child would make and upload to youtube to show off how much of a badass he really is.

Friends for Eternity

Would I recommend this film?

Absolutely. It is really really bad but made with so much care and love it is hard not to love it. Writing about it is really difficult as I feel it doesn’t do the madness justice. But trust me, it is insane.

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