Miami Connection (1987)

miami connection

5/20

Before I say anything, just look at the poster. Please look at it for a second. Isn’t it the best poster you’ve ever seen? It also offers us clues that help us unravel the plot.

Ok. So there is this rock band named Dragon Sound, and they are our heroes (1). These five guys are all orphans too, but their friendship is strong and they look after each other. The leader is a Taekwondo master named Mark (2). They are competing for stage time with another rock band though, and this rock band is in the drugs business, and has connection with a dangerous biker gang (3). And this biker gang are actually NINJAS at night! (4) Drugs and ninjas, the great dangers of the 80s.

miami connection2

When Dragon Sound gains in popularity, and one of the rock-orphans falls in love with the sister (5) of the leader (6) of the other rockband/bikergang/ninjagroup, confrontations between the two groups escalate into deadly violence. And we will see if Mark’s Taekwondo can deal with an army of ninjas! Meanwhile, another rock-orphan gets back in touch with his father (7), but the confrontation with the ninjas stands in the way of them reuniting. The scene of this guy discovering that he has a father is comedy gold.

Another source of clarification for the plot are the rock songs. Since our heroes form a band, we are shown their musical performances in scenes that go on for way too long. The lyrics of the songs sort of explain the movie. Sing along! Friends through eternity, Loyalty, honesty! We’ll stay together, through thick or thin! Or, AGAINST the NINJAAAAAH! We will fight the battle to win!

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I have seen films from the 40s that are less dated than this one. Miami Connection is strongly a product of the 80s. Our rock band walks around with mullets, naked chests and in short pants. Electronic music never stops. It rides this wave of an Asian martial arts craze that swept across the US, and everybody was Kung Fu fighting. Miami, drugs, bikers, electronic music and ninjas, it makes for an intoxicating brew.

Miami Connection is the passion project of a taekwondo master named Y.K. Kim, who also stars as Mark in the movie. He came to the US penniless from Korea and had no idea how to make a movie and that shows, and couldn’t speak English, but he did it anyway. Miami Connection was shown only once and got forgotten, until it was miraculously saved from the disposal bin.

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Many scenes don’t make any sense. There are shots from a biker rally that are totally disconnected from the rest of the film. There is a scene where our guys go to the beach to look at bikinis and are chased away by women. There are some random gym scenes. All the dialogue is horrible. And the climax of the movie is an amazing and ridiculously over the top sequence of ninjas getting murdered in the forest and violent bloodshed. And best of all, the film then ends with a message promoting the stop of violence to achieve world peace.

The best thing about the movie is that it is so sincere and well-intentioned. It is hilariously bad, but entertaining and honest.

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