January 5, 2013 10:50 PM   Subscribe

posted by infinitewindow at 10:51 PM on January 5, 2013

It's no The Room.
posted by Mezentian at 11:46 PM on January 5, 2013

Thanks to the preponderance of videogame and film blogs that I subscribe to, I first started hearing about Miami Connection and Hotline Miami around the same time several months ago. As a result, I now have both properties permanently commingled in my head as neon-pink, violence-drenched avatars of ironic retro-80s style. Just in the last month, I've caught myself referring to Hotline as Connection in conversation at least three times, and vice versa. I'm not sure what the point of my story is, but there you go.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:05 AM on January 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

It took me until about twenty seconds into the trailer to recognize that this was an actual '80s movie and not an '80s spoof. Too many details you just couldn't fake. I spent those twenty seconds also wondering if there was some sort of Hotline Miami connection. But I spent the rest of the two minutes marveling at the fact that I could tell it wasn't a spoof. Weird that it's so hard to fake the essential look of an era.
posted by cthuljew at 12:11 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

I literally just got back from seeing this, and it's magnificent.

Let me try to describe the plot to you. It follows a Orlando band called "Dragonsound." The band is entirely made up of orphans. They all live together in one house, and apparently all share two shirts, as at least three of them are shirtless at all times. They all know taekwondo. And their band sings about taekwondo. At least, when they are not all in school at the University of Central Florida or driving around the beach catcalling women. Oh, and their house doesn't seem to have any actual bedrooms -- they all sleep on sofas, just like in the similarly excellent (if deliberately parodic) The FP.

The leader is Y.K. Kim, a martial artist and motivational speaker, and he spends an entire scene of the movie wandering around the house forcing grapes into his bandmates' mouths.

They play at a club called Park Avenue, where they displaced another band. They, likewise, are martial artists. And it's hard to tell precisely who is a member, except they are almost all bearded and there seem to be a 100, and most look to be in their 40s. They are buddies with a local drug kingpin who owns a martial arts gym and also has a beard and is in his 40s. Also, his sister is dating a member of the Dragonsound.

When all of the other bandmates and drug dealers get beaten up or killed by Dragonsound, it earns the revenge of the leader of a group of Miami Ninjas who previously made their living stealing from drug dealers, like a group of black pajama-clad Omars. These ninjas drive around on motorcycles and hang out in a local biker bar filled with outlaw-type bike gangers, including girlfriends who, after decades of training from Easy Rider magazine, know exactly what to do when somebody shows up with a camera: They take their shirts off.

There is a subplot about one of the bandmembers locating his father, which produces some of the most fascinating line-readings in film history, including the "Oh my God!" that closes out the trailer, but also this awesome monologue.

The climax to all this occurs when a small group of Dragonsound members drives across a bridge and sees a group of motorcycles approaching. "Whoah," says one. "Ninjas."

And then the bloodletting begins.

If I could, I would go back and see the film again tomorrow.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:26 AM on January 6, 2013 [17 favorites]

Well, now I've got a boner.
posted by bardic at 12:40 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dragonsound sound a lot like Black Flag, except with taekwondo.
posted by Mezentian at 12:42 AM on January 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Saw this in Portland, and second Bunny's recommendation. (Like any psychotronic film, it's best seen with a crowd of rowdy drunks; there are times when Netflix just doesn't cut it.)

My favorite part is that when we first see Dragonsound play, it's their hit song "Against the Ninja." Except that they haven't met the ninjas in the movie yet. So apparently, they are philosophically anti-Ninja, which is a real unlucky break for the large group of ninjas in their hometown because really, what are the odds of bumping into a kickass TaeKwonDo 80s rock band of anti-ninja orphans?
posted by msalt at 12:55 AM on January 6, 2013 [10 favorites]

bardic: "Well, now I've got a boner."

A... dragonboner.
posted by boo_radley at 1:04 AM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was lucky enough to see Miami Connection at a midnight screening at a great old restoration theatre in DC with very little idea of what to expect. It really blew me away how only the first five minutes are actually set in Miami. I've spent a lot of time in Orlando and around UCF's campus, so I completely lost it when the setting moved there and stayed there. I love that every single UCF scene has the same five paunchy, bespectacled students roving around in formation behind our protagonists. The scene towards the end of the movie when Dragonsound actually high five them, finally acknowledging their existence? When I saw that I was never the same again.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:04 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Disinter The Dragon
posted by hal9k at 2:59 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Worth noting that Jason Eisener, director of the amazing Hobo with a Shotgun and Treevenge, edited the equally amazing Miami Connection trailer for Drafthouse (the first link in the FPP).
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:47 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

I got a chance to see this a few months ago, it's definitely a cult-worthy flick, full of absolutely unintelligible dialogue, confounding location changes, and cheese. What I love most about the film is that at the end, after an hour and a half of using swords, guns, and cars to take justice into their own hands, the reunited members of this rock band cum murder squad briefly high five and a message flashes on the screen briefly to make sure that we all remember NEVER to hurt each other or use our martial arts for combat.

7/10 - I liked it more than Elmer Bane and the story of the Crippled Crusader, and I think the film had more to say than five Killer Joes humping each other's broken noses with poultry parts.
posted by jarvitron at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2013

Full of ninjas, rock and roll, and tae kwon do action, this 1987 megablockbuster-in-waiting

...Are you sure there are no Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles in this film? Does Vanilla Ice make an appearance?
posted by maryr at 9:39 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Saw this at Nighthawks Cinema in Brooklyn a couple weeks ago. It's not quite Birdemic bad -- where you find yourself thinking, "I can't believe I'm watching this." It's more like The Room bad or Manos : Hands Of Fate bad -- where you can see what they're trying to accomplish, and you can see them failing to achieve it at every turn.

All I can say is with movies like this, there's always one moment of distilled What The Fuck that perfectly summarizes everything insane about the movie. For example, with Snakes On A Plane, it's the moment where the Head Bad Guy states that he's going to kill the protagonist by smuggling snakes onto his flight because, "I've tried everything else!" (really? everything?) With the Miami Connection, it's the scene where the Head Bad Guy is complaining to his dealer that his sister has joined a synthpop band, Dragon Sound. The dealer says, "You need to get rid of that band, so you can control your territory!" Never mind that Dragon Sound has nothing to do with the drug trade. No. This crappy synthpop band with a weekly gig at a local nightclub in Orlando is all that's stopping the Head Bad Guy from controlling the drug trade in Florida.

Can't wait for the Rifftrax.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

The love for movies like this makes me want to finish my film about heroic Sydney rock and rollers using the power of ROCK to stop Ministry of Sound from taking over the city. But I'm afraid people won't realize I'm 100% serious.

All problems can be solved by the power of ROCK.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:23 PM on January 6, 2013

Q&A with Grandmaster Kim.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2013

The bad news: The Dragon Sound 7" vinyl is sold out.

The good news: The VHS is still available.
posted by ckape at 7:41 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

The weird thing is, I was location manager on a nearly identical film in Portland made about the same time, "Iron Heart." (IMDB) By identical, I mean another late 80s vanity chopsocky production by a successful Taekwondo teacher who wanted to make himself the next Bruce Lee.

My guy (producer/writer/star) hired Robert Clouse (the director of Enter the Dragon, who quit midway), Bolo (the bad guy in that and many other kungfu movies) and even changed his name from Tae Lee to Britton Lee. Sadly, while it was equally as bad as Miami Connection, it's not nearly as fun because duh, it had a great production crew.

Review on YouTube: "This´╗┐ movie sucked ass butt"
posted by msalt at 11:49 PM on January 6, 2013

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