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Miami Connection

“Completely wrongheaded in every way, yet vastly entertaining as a result… a blast from start to finish” - William S. Wilson, VIDEO JUNKIE

Somewhere in Miami… the cocaine deal is going down smooth as silk — until the ninjas strike! Robust mullets and moustaches are no defense against deadly shuriken whistling out from among the midnight palm trees. Elsewhere, Dragon Sound is burning up the stage of Miami’s hottest nightclub with its unique brand of martial arts rock, the likes of which hasn’t been seen or heard before or (thankfully) since. There are some bad vibes in the room, though. And they’re about to get more badder! Jeff, the leader of the local hoodlums, doesn’t like his sister Jane hanging out with John and the guys from the band, who double as disciplined students at guitar player Mark’s taekwondo school. Also a problem: the leader of the aforementioned coke-stealing-and-dealing ninjas doesn’t like Dragon Sound keeping their corner of Miami so darn wholesome. Mark and the Dragon Sound dudes just want everything to be cool, man. They don’t want any trouble. But trouble is headed their way — on motorcycles!

You guys still got your bandanas, suspenders and fingerless gloves from last year’s Fantasia screening of THE FP, the Trost Brothers’ modern-day tribute to cinematic cheese of the 1980s? Dig ’em out and slap ’em on — MIAMI CONNECTION is the real deal, a lost masterpiece of mid-’80s film-fail. The Miami of the era comes alive again for the very first time as purported “filmmakers” Y.K. Kim and Richard Park present Florida’s biggest city with all the groove, glamour and sultry sex appeal of Sarnia, Ontario on a Wednesday. To the strains of an uncomfortably melodramatic synth-rock score, maladroit martial arts and uncannily uninspired dialogue are delivered by a talented cast of guys with no talent, only a third or so of who could actually be bothered to wear shirts for the cameras — though one gentleman evens the balance with his unfortunate short-shorts. Whatever MIAMI CONNECTION may lack in terms of scriptwriting, plausible story structure, acting, camerawork, lighting, fight choreography, sound recording, costume design, editing and anything else that might be considered basic requirements of competent film production, it does succeed in ripping away the veil of denial and exposing Miami’s heartbreaking struggle with the menace of marauding biker-ninjas. So there is that.

— Rupert Bottenberg