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 Examiner.com, 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.