Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!
I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Cult Films” with a minor in “TAEKWONDO!”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
From April of 2013 it’s the long lost speech for Miami Connection!
The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf. The members of the multi-national, martial arts rock band Dragon Sound have had enough, and embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice and friendship. 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 1987 independent martial arts film starring, written and produced by martial arts instructor and promotional speaker Y.K. Kim. Apparently it was so incredibly bad that it remained unseen for decades until Drafthouse Films found it, restored it, and released it on DVD, blue-ray, limited edition VHS, and digital download on December 11, 2012. The whole movie plus the soundtrack is on Drafthouse Film’s website for six bucks, but you can download two of Dragon Sound’s hit songs from the movie, “Against the Ninja” and “Friends”, for free!
You can buy the movie, the soundtrack, and even Dragon Sound merch on Drafthouse Film’s website.
Check it out here: http://miamiconnection.org/
Drafthouse films does a great job of keeping their blog full of great Miami Connection Content too!
That’s the short version, but in reality the story of Miami Connection is a little less succinct and a little more tragic. Around 1985, film Director Richard Park saw Y.K. Kim on a Korean talk show promoting a book about taekwondo and convinced him to make a film. Kim borrowed from friends, took out loans, spent all his savings, and mortgaged his martial arts school to produce Miami Connection. Despite the title, the movie was filmed in Orlando, not Miami, where Y.K. Kim capitalized on his popularity with the local government and law enforcement to film nearly anywhere in the city without a permit. Most of the cast were students of Y.K. Kim from his chain of Tae Kwon Do studios and all of the bikers were real bikers who were paid in beer. At one point during production one of the fight scenes was interrupted by police who thought the brawl was real.
I mean, can you blame them? With acting like this who wouldn’t be confused:
Starting a fight, Step 1: Throw your books on the ground.
Every distribution company rejected it after watching and some even told him to throw it away. Even after rejection Kim continued to re-work the film until a small distribution company purchased the film for a mere $100,000. Miami Connection was released in August, 1988 in 8 theatres in Florida and a hundred of the bikers who were featured in the movie showed up for the premiere. Kim said, “I was so excited, and I had no doubt that we would pack every theater and it would be blockbuster.“ Instead the movie received poor critical reception and was taken out of theatres after only three weeks. The Orlando Sentinel said that it was the worst film in 1988. The film cost about a million dollars to make and almost bankrupt Y. K. Kim
As time passed Miami Connection became an underground cult film. Y.K. Kim said that in a period of several years before 2012 several magazines and talk shows requested interviews with him about the movie, but he denied most of the requests.
In 2009 a programmer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas found the film on eBay and made a blind bid, winning the movie for $50. After a favorable screening, Drafthouse films asked Kim for permission to re-release the film. Originally Kim believed it was a joke so he hung up on him several times before finally, after several months of negotiation, struck a deal to re-release the film. The film has since received screenings in the New York Asian Film Festival and midnight film festival showings in Atlanta, Seattle, Orlando, and New York, all to positive reception. Ain’t it Cool News calls it “Awesome and Proof that God Exits…A Psychotronic Masterpiece!
Superhero origin story aside, Miami Connection is by far one of the most entertaining things to grace the Supercult screen in a long time. It’s 96 minutes of laughable dialogue and INTENSE FRIENDSHIP punctuated by massive kung-fu brawls that’ll leave you speechless. And if that wasn’t enough it has a hilariously fantastic soundtrack! It also has one of the best endings of any Supercult film I’ve seen to date, which I dare not spoil for you. Let’s just say that you will lovingly recollect the last ten minutes of the movie to your future grandchildren…
Miami Connection has 6.1 on IMDB and a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it tied with Adam West’s Batman movie for the position of ‘second highest rated film we’ve seen this semester’. The number one spot being taken by Nick Cage’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans.
THIS MOVIE is what Supercult is all about people! This is the textbook definition of a cult classic lost to the ages and now, reborn, like a phoenix from the ashes, to entertain and befuddle the masses once again! So slap in your Dragon Sound mix tape, crank the knob to eleven, and dust off your favorite pair of nun-chucks because tonight, we’re watching the ultimate come-back-from-behind success story.
It’s weirdly awesome! It’s ludicrously incomprehensible!
It’s TAE-KWON! TAE-KWON! TAE-KWON-DO!
The Supercult Show proudly presents Miami Connection!