miami

An orphan-synth-rock band of ninjas!

Welcome to the second of what’s bound to be a legendary
 series of articles.  I have awesome taste in movies.  
Some of them, everyone loves, like “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Django 
Unchained”, and of course “Drive 
Angry“.  Others are less well known, like “Safety 
Not Guaranteed”, “Dirty Work”, and of course “Drive Angry”.
  This series of what’s bound to be a legendary succession of
 articles will focus on those lesser known movies, and me trying to
 convince you to see them. With no further ado’s, let me
 introduce you to “Miami Connection.”

Anytime I write any article for this site, there is always a part of me that feels I did not do my subject matter justice.  Sometime I only kind of feel it, and other times it is soul crushing.  This article is one of the soul crushing ones.  There are no words I can write that will make you feel how awesome this movie is.  I will soldier on and try anyway, but for starters, let’s allow the movie to speak for itself.  Here is the trailer.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZu69OB2KM]

If you want to watch the trailer twice, I understand.

AS IF that did not convince you to watch, I will now attempt to do so by telling you the story of how this film was made.  Sometime in the mid 80’s, a director named Richard Park saw a man named Y.K. Kim on a Korean talk show called “Meet at 11.”  Kim is a grandmaster in tae kwon do and apparently a very charismatic interview, because by the end of the segment, Park decided that Kim should be the next big thing.  Park met with Kim and convinced him to make a movie.  This was a particularly ludicrous idea because at this point, Kim had only seen about 6 movies in his entire life.  However, something connected with Kim, and he mortgaged his house, sold his car, and nearly bankrupt himself in order to make a movie that would popularize tae kwon do here in America.  Kim was very convinced that his movie would be a hit.  He put in countless hours writing, starring, co-directing, and then screening the film.  He even re-cut it multiple times after people gave him feedback.  The result was an opening in a few theaters in Orlando (where it was filmed) and around Central Florida.  And that’s it.  A review in the Orlando Sentinal called Miami Connection the worst film of 1988 in an articled called “If You Have Nothing Nice To Say”.  The movie was in theaters for about three weeks.  It then fell into obscurity to be totally forgotten by time.

But then in 2009 our lord and savior Zack Carlson bought a copy in a blind auction on e-bay.  He screened it at the theater he works at and the reception was such that he negotiated a deal with Kim to re-release the film.  And people are going nuts.  It’s one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of movies.  But I think there may be a little more going on here than meets the eye.  Miami Connection is a passion project from possibly the most passionate man in the universe.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th7BZXXbWV4#at=106]

The above video looks as if it’s a joke.  One of those poorly edited videos to make you laugh.  But it also paints the picture of a man who cares deeply.  He tries harder at brushing his teeth then you or I do at our jobs.  And it shows.  Most of the cast of the movie Miami Connection are students of his (you can tell because they act like it).  Could you imagine trying to convince that many of your friends to do anything?  Let alone be in a movie, on shoots for countless hours a night.  It can’t be avoided.  People love Y.K. Kim.

Count me as one of the believers.  Yes, I get an ironic joy out of saying “Miami Connection follows the journey of an orphan-synth-rock band of ninjas fighting motorcycle-riding-cocaine-selling OTHER ninjas”, but I also just love the fact that this guy pulled it off.  He had a vision, and he did everything he could to make it happen.  And darnit, it looks like everyone involved was having the time of their life!  The reason I am drawn to this movie is the same reason I take part in the adventure that is State-Lines.com.  It’s the same reason that in just a few weeks, despite the fact that I can neither play any instruments, nor write lyrics that make sense, I will attempt to record an album.  It’s the same reason that I’ve been trying for over a year to publish a comic book that a friend and I wrote.  It’s the reason we all try anything crazy.  Dreams.  The story of “Miami Connection” is the story of the American dream.

So watch this movie for the amazing soundtrack.

Watch this movie for the amateur actors acting their hearts out.

Watch this movie for the over the top violence.  The awkward make-out scene.  The vintage 80’s montage on the beach where the good guys make really pervy cat calls to vintage 80’s ladies.

But mostly, watch it for it’s heart.

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About The Author

Jarrett Haas

Jarrett is co-founder of State-Lines.com, owner of Rule8Media.com, awesome videographer at RelevantChurch.com, creator, dreamer, and all around dude.

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