|Riffers||Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett|
|Date Released||October 1, 2015 (Live)|
Miami Connection is a 1987 independent martial arts film starring Y.K. Kim, who also wrote and produced the feature. Originally, the film was critically maligned and received poor box office return upon release. It remained unseen for decades until Drafthouse Films restored the film for a proper release in 2012. The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, limited-edition VHS, and various digital download options on December 11, 2012. RiffTrax will riff the film live from the Historic Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee in October 2015.
Synopsis and PreviewEdit[Spoilers Begin]
A cocaine deal in Miami is interrupted by a group of motorcycle-riding ninjas led by Yashito, who steal the drugs and ride back to Orlando to party. At a club, the ninjas' second-in-command, Jeff, sees his sister Jane onstage. She has become romantically involved with John, the bassist of the club's band, which consists of five University of Central Florida students who live together and train Tae Kwon Do. Jeff disapproves of his sister's relationship with John and confronts him at school, but Mark, the leader of Dragon Sound, stands up to him.
Another band confronts the owner of the club over his hiring of Dragon Sound, but gets beaten up. The band leader brings a large group of rowdy guys to Dragon Sound directly and fights them in the street, but Dragon Sound defeats them. Consequently, the rival band enlists the help of Jeff, who summons Dragon Sound to fight at a train depot, but he and his men are badly defeated by Dragon Sound's superior Tae Kwon Do. Jeff tries again by kidnapping Tom, the lead singer of Dragon Sound. The remaining band members stage a rescue, wherein they free their singer and accidentally kill Jeff. Yashito is angered by Jeff's death and sets out for revenge.
Meanwhile, another member of the band, Jim, has revealed that he is searching for his long-lost father. He finally receives word that his father has been relocated, so the band pools their money to buy him a suit and then head to the airport. Along the way, the ninjas surround Mark, Jim and John and chase them into a park, where they do battle. Jim is critically injured, but John and Mark manage to kill all of the ninjas and Mark kills Yashito in single combat. At the hospital, Jim survives his wounds and reconnects with his repentant father.
Cast and CrewEdit
- Y.K. Kim as Mark
- Vincent Hirsch as John
- William Ergle as Jeff
- Siyung Jo as Yashito
- Kathie Collier as Jane
- Joseph Diamond as Jack
- Maurice Smith as Jim
- Angelo Janotti as Tom
- If the ending of the movie feels slightly off from the tone (and general film stock quality) of the rest of the movie, you're not just seeing things. When shown at the Cannes Film Festival (yes, you heard right, Cannes), the original ending was negatively received. Jim originally was not supposed to survive his wounds, and Y.K. Kim hastily assembled an ending where he lives. This meant adding the hospital scene at the end as well as a reshoot of the final fight. However, Siyung Jo was no longer available at the time, so William Ergle doubled as the evil ninja who gets his comeuppance. These scenes (and possibly others) were done without the aid of the original director Woo-Sang Park, who had returned to South Korea by that point. Kim directed and Joseph Diamand wrote the new scenes, despite neither of them having experience (both getting what they needed from books on the subject). Unfortunately, as the movie was mostly shelved until 2012, the new scenes most likely had little impact on the film's reception. At least Jim gets to meet his Dad...who looks suspiciously like a 25-year-old man in gray hair paint, but still.