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Drafthouse Films To Give MIAMI CONNECTION The Theatrical Release It So Richly Deserves!


Beaks here...

There are cult classics, and then there are tattooed-to-your-brain psychotronic masterpieces like CARNIVAL MAGIC, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, NIGHT WARNING and THE BLACK GESTAPO. Grandmaster Y.K. Kim's MIAMI CONNECTION belongs in the latter camp. I wrote a little about it two years ago when it played at Everything Is Terrible's first Cinefamily festival, but words cannot convey the WTF glory of this movie.

Fortunately, words will no longer have to suffice. The good folks at Drafthouse Films announced today that they have acquired the North American rights for MIAMI CONNECTION, and will officially re-launch the movie at the New York Asian Film Festival in July. The film will then get some kind of limited theatrical release in the fourth quarter of 2012, along with home video/streaming distribution. I could tell you why you should be excited about it, or I could just hit you with Dragon Sound's rockin' performance of "Friends". (That's Grandmaster Kim shredding on the guitar in his gi!)




Take that, Hong Kong Cavaliers!

Here's the release...

AUSTIN, TX - Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today their acquisition of North American rights to explosive '80s martial arts gem Miami Connection. Directed by 9th degree black belt philosopher/author/inspirational speaker Grandmaster Y.K. Kim, the film tells the story of fearless synth rock band Dragon Sound as they embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice in the streets of Orlando. Now in HD from elements sourced by the America Genre Film Archive (AGFA), Miami Connection will have its official re-launch screening at this year's New York Asian Film Festival on Saturday, July 7th (with Grandmaster Kim in attendance) and will return to cinemas, home video and debut on digital platforms in Q4 of 2012.

Following Miami Connection's very limited theatrical and scarce VHS release in 1987, the film vanished into obscurity. Over two decades later, Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson blindly purchased a rare 35mm print from a reluctant eBay seller for $50. A small test screening of the film's first reel unveiled a relentless fury of ninjas, rock 'n' roll, lawless bikers and brutal knife fights. The crowd lost their minds. "We have multiple weekly 35mm exploitation series at the Drafthouse, and Miami Connection has repeatedly destroyed our audience in a more powerful way than anything else in the 15 years of our theater's existence," says Carlson. The film has since screened across the country at select festivals and repertory theaters, championed by critics such as Joel Modelo of, who proclaimed it a "hilariously rollicking good time."

"We are thrilled to work with Grandmaster Y.K. Kim to unleash his film that -- after 25 years of obscurity -- will rise to claim its rightfully deserved cult classic title," says Drafthouse Films Acquisition Director Evan Husney.

"Traditional genius meant having a high IQ. I propose that modern genius means being crazy," says Grandmaster Y.K. Kim. "Crazy means exceptional action. Action makes things happen; inaction does not. Success: 1% is the idea, 99% is action. Put your goals into action, and never ever give up until you achieve your goals."

The deal was negotiated by Evan Husney and James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films and Master Kirk Pelt and William L. Whitacre on behalf of Grandmaster Y.K. Kim.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 31, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST


    by Randy DeLaney

  • May 31, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Damn I'm on a roll.

    by Randy DeLaney

  • May 31, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Damn I'm on a roll.

    by Randy DeLaney

  • May 31, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    WTF Indeed

    by reaper28

    I found myself saying that repeatedly throughout that clip. Got a definite Last Dragon vibe ... now THAT was an awesome film ...

  • May 31, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST

    I do not believe that i just saw what i did. This is a dream right?

    by adeceasedfan

  • May 31, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    horrible guitar / lip syncing

    by theBigE

    I can believe some movie director allowed that musical sequence. You think they'd practice so it'd look like they knew how to play instruments before they rolled the cameras!

  • May 31, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    I bought this movie for 40 bucks off Y.K. Kim's website.

    by Calvin_Crack

    and let me tell you, it is glorious. best 40 bucks I ever spent. I had waited about a year for an online rip to surface, and it never did, so i finally caved in. it was so worth it. i've been duping it for friends ever since. a limited theatrical run would give Miami Connection the cult status it deserves

  • for free because I ordered over $100.00 worth of martial arts gear from Black Belt Magazine.Think it was Asain World Of Martial Arts retailer.Ninja suit,tabi boots,foam shurikens,foam nunchaku,and a wooden boken (practice sword). Funny the Tshirt was just a print of Sho Kosugi from one of his many 80's ninja movies. Team this movie up with the awesomely bad No Retreat No Surrender (Van Dammes first movie I think?) for funny 80's karate/kung fu/ninja action!

  • June 1, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I remember its opening weekend in Florida.

    by bradjac

    I use to be an assistant manager at the Volusia Cinemas 4-9 in Daytona Beach when this movie came out. I remember meeting the "business"people who were promoting the movie to local theatres (funny, they were also most of the main characters in the movie). They kept pushing how it was a "home grown" movie and used local areas (Orlando and the beach at Daytona) and was going to take the world by storm once the word got out. The theatre booked it, but the guys got a little pissed because we refused to show it in our largest auditorium (it went in our smallest), and we kept getting phone calls about how awesome it was going to be once it opened, one of the callers kept repeating how the world premiere was total chaos with the crowd because it was so action packed. The film arrived on Thursday, I put it together that night and we previewed it before the staff at midnight Friday morning. At 12:30 am the staff and myself moved over to another auditorium to watch a different movie. Long story short, we had the movie 7 days and sold zero tickets. After the opening weekend I didn't even start the projector for the last four days and the "businessmen" from Orlando came and picked up the film and I never saw it or them again. I had gone to Y. K. Kim's dojo after that because I use to take martial arts and that's where I bought my equipment and noticed a glass counter full of the movie on vhs, and I never saw that counter empty of the movie or anyone leaving with a copy for the 4 years I bought my equipment there. Hope it gets some kind of recognition because this group was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay enthusiastic about how the world was going to love Y. K. Kim and he was the next Bruce Lee.