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  Miami Connection Omigawd!Buy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Y.K. Kim, Park Woo-sang
Stars: Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch, Joseph Diamand, Maurice Smith, Angelo Janotti, Kathy Collier, William Eagle, Si Y Jo, Park Woo-sang, William P. Young, Joy Share, William Whitacre
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial Arts, Trash, Music
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Somewhere in Orlando (not Miami), there is a huge cocaine deal going on where a group of gangsters are meeting with some bikers to exchange their cargo: a shipment of coke worth millions. However, just as the deal has been agreed, one of the henchmen gets a knife in the neck from an unseen assailant, announcing the arrival of a band of ninjas who set about attacking the men with various weapons and martial arts techniques. Once back at their base of operations, their leader admonishes his team of killers because they have forgotten about the money - lucky he remembered it, eh?

Although with that the ninjas are forgotten themselves for the greater part of the movie as the story concentrates on that old standby, the tae kwon do expert rock band. Wait, what? Miami Connection was a film which had something most efforts of its vintage do not often receive, and that was a second chance with moviegoers. With so many spoofs and tributes to nineteen-seventies and eighties exploitation movies occurring, it was easy to neglect the originals inspiring them, but someone recognised this was at least as good as those knowing throwbacks - or at least as bad. Nobody was going to mistake this for brilliant filmmaking.

But for the bad movie buffs, the children of the Golden Turkey Awards and Mystery Science Theater 3000 and all their ilk, here was a genuine discovery that obeyed the cardinal rule of the good bad movie: it had to be entertaining, not because there was a level of quality it had achieved, but the opposite, a level of amusing dreadfulness and consistent with it. Really Miami Connection was one step above a home movie, assembled by the Korean mastermind Y.K. Kim, a martial arts enthusiast who wished to bring the benefits of his lifestyle to the masses, and what better way to do so than marshalling a few friends and friends of friends under the guidance of a proper director?

Well, as proper a director as Park Woo-sang got, alias South Korea's Richard Park, he of L.A. Streetfighters "fame", another sincere yet hopeless action effort from the eighties which did not gain quite the cult following this did. Not that this had an easy journey to travel to its rediscovery, having been judged appalling by almost every distributor until a brief two week release in the U.S.A., but some did remember this and most importantly remembered it was funny. A lot of that was down to how painfully sincere it was, something simple to spoof but difficult to get its mixture of naivety and message-making right without that self-aware sense which truly generated the endearing yet risible tone of the piece.

The rock band are known as Dragon Sound (or that's on their T-shirts) and appear to have garnered the casting coup of John Oates of Hall and Oates among their number - who wouldn't want to see him kicking ass? Unfortunately, he mostly gets his ass kicked, but there's more as the band are orphans, except one finds out halfway through in a tearstained sequence his father is still living, thus setting in motion the angst-ridden climax. To complicate matters, one of the band John (Vincent Hirsch) is going out with the sister (Kathy Collier, singer) of the gang leader we saw at the beginning, and to prompt more fights everyone our heroes encounter are tremendously aggressive. Demonstrating what to do in such circumstances, Kim stops the film halfway through for a lesson, and illustrates holding someone's nose with one foot (he does this twice) for some reason. With more bikers, gratuitous "we don't care" nudity, yet more martial arts, synth rock and the return of the ninjas (plus the father who looks like the guy's brother), Miami Connection is utterly ludicrous, but makes you think, hey, well done you.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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