A high-kicking wallop of a good time, Miami Connection is just what the doctor ordered for any kung fu-loving VHS obsessive with a taste for the '80s -- or virtually anyone looking for a good time at the movies. Like a shiny star pulled down from the heavens, this slice of fabulous entertainment has sparked so-bad-it's-good debates among cinephiles, but regardless of which side of the argument you're on, odds are there's something in this cheese-filled masterpiece that will leave you grinning ear to ear. Whether it's the pop songs of Dragon Sound (a band made up of an international gang of tae kwon do-practicing orphans), the prime acting, the beer-bellied bad guys, or the gore-drenched amateur fights, there are endless amazing moments for one to bear-hug all the way home. See this picture with friends. See it in a theater if you can (Drafthouse Films, in a genius move, rereleased this 1987 gem back into theaters in 2012 after rescuing it from obscurity). Miami Connection is a big, bright present of good vibes that will leave your cheeks hurting and your conversations filled with movie quotes for days after.
The flick starts with a drug deal gone wrong involving schlubby dudes with Uzis versus motorcycle-riding ninjas(!). The film then segues to a nightclub where the band Dragon Sound are rocking out on a neon stage in perfect cheeseball '80s fashion -- complete with kung fu kicks and splits! Cue some thugs from another band who used to perform at the same venue and are pissed that this new act playing "kiddie music" have moved in on their territory. As if that weren't enough, local gang leader Jeff is furious at Dragon Sound for recruiting his sister into their ranks. Thankfully, the band members just so happen to be kung fu warriors, but will that be enough to stop the senseless killing of the ninja clan (which is headed up by Jeff's buddy Yoshito)?
As you can tell, Miami Connection features a grade-A (for amazing) plot, but that doesn't even touch how outrageous this film is on a second-to-second basis. Actor/co-director Y.K. Kim murders the English language as the head of Dragon Sound, who apparently live together while hanging out without any shirts. The rest of the band members possess awkward faces and equally broken acting skills, yet they're so earnest and goofy that somehow they win you over. The film is just as inept on a technical level, with the majority of shots lasting too long, but that only adds to the fun. In the music department, Dragon Sound wow with their songs about sticking together through thick and thin against the evil ninjas, with other tunes in the flick focusing on how you shouldn't mess with tough guys alongside legitimately cool synth instrumentals. Still, no matter how much Miami Connection trips over itself, it sticks its landing as a B-movie treasure with a heart of gold big enough to win over any audience willing to play by its wild rules.