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‘Miami Connection’: Quite Possibly the Best ’80s Low Budget Action Film You’ve Never Seen

Drafthouse Films

Just look at that screen grab above. If that doesn’t speak to Noisecreep’s readership, we don’t know what does.

The scene is from an low budget ’80s flick called Miami Connection. Originally released in 1987, the action-packed film quickly faded into obscurity until Zack Carlson, a programmer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, saw a copy of it on eBay for $50. He fell in love with the movie and decided he wanted to bring it back for a new audience that would also appreciate its over-the-top mix of martial arts, ’80s fashion and synthed-out AOR rock.

Seriously, Miami Connection‘s plot revolves around a local rock band, who also happen to be martial arts specialists, called Dragon Sound. So good.

Miami Connection is the brainchild of a 9th degree black belt philosopher/author/inspirational speaker named Grandmaster Y.K. Kim. He not only acts in the film, he also wrote directed it, wrote the script and found its financing.

Noisecreep caught up with the Grandmaster right before he headed to Los Angeles for the film’s Los Angeles premiere tonight, Nov. 9. Oh yeah, we also scored some KILLER merch from Miami Connection! So read on for the giveaway rules.

First off, are you surprised by all of the attention the film is getting over 20 years later? When did you first start hearing about the film’s resurgence?

I was shocked when I saw the public response at the premier at the New York Film Festival [July 7, 2012]. The audience went crazy with a never-ending torrent of cheer, applause, laughter and screams throughout the entire movie. Even after the movie finished and the lights came on, nobody wanted to leave. They seemed to want to make the good feeling last. I have never seen an audience reaction like this in my life.

I thought I was dreaming, so I pinched my arm, but it was not a dream, it was real!

After the movie, almost everyone came up to me and asked for an autograph and wanted to know when I was going to make a sequel. Many people said to me that this was the best movie they had seen in a year. Most people mentioned that they loved the music and the real-life action because it was not computer generated. They loved that the movie reflected the culture of the 1980s and message of true friendship.

Watch Miami Connection Trailer

Younger folks can’t believe a movie like Miami Connection got made back in the ’80s. But as someone who is pushing 40 now, I can remember ninja/martial arts films being huge back then. Were you a fan of the Chuck Norris films that were out at the time?

I personally know Chuck Norris well and I deeply respect Grandmaster Chuck Norris.

From a pure Tae Kwon Do standpoint, how would you rate the fight scenes in the film?


Most people love the exciting and real action because it was not computer generated. I was very proud of most of the action scenes.

Will there ever be a sequel to Miami Connection?

Thank you for that important question. Martial Arts World (Grandmaster Y.K. Kim is the founder and chairman) has planned to produce one top quality action film with modern philosophy every three years to show the true meaning and value of the martial arts. Our main purpose is to produce a movie to promote the martial arts to the public that family and friends can enjoy together, so more people will practice martial arts. We want more people to be healthier, wealthier and happier, and to make the world a better place to live.

What are you and the rest of the actors in the film up to now?

I am teaching martial arts, writing books and doing motivational speaking all over the country. Master Joseph Diamond is practicing martial arts while producing and directing a historical documentary movie. Master Vincent Hirsch is practicing martial arts. Master William Ergle is practicing martial arts. Angelo Jannotti is practicing martial arts and has his own band. Maurice Smith is practicing martial arts and has his own business.

I want to add one last thing.

Sure, please go ahead.

I am Grandmaster of martial arts, I am not Grandmaster of movie making, it was an accident to produce the Miami Connection. So I had to pay a high price. It was a life or death experience. Making the Miami Connection was a nightmare. I was in Hell and too many times close to bankruptcy. It was too tough to finish, however I finished because I promised my students I would show them this movie in the theater. That is martial arts spirit and philosophy. Even after I finished the movie, over 100 Hollywood studios and distribution companies said the Miami Connection is trash, even further at the Cannes Film Festival in France, worldwide movie buyers reactions were the same, throw it away it is trash.

So I self-distributed the movie in 8 central Florida theaters. The media said it was the worst movie of the year and the audience totally rejected it. As a result, it was dead 25 years ago at birth. Therefore I have to tell you the truth. If you like to watch professional drama or romance, the Miami Connection is not the right movie for you. However, if you love music, exciting action and the true meaning of friendship, you are not going to love the Miami Connection, you will be crazy about the Miami Connection.

I truly appreciate Zack Carson who discovered Miami Connection and Alamo Drafthouse for distributing the film.


Noisecreep rarely covers film stuff on the site, but we really dig Miami Connection and want to share its genius with you all. With that in mind, we’ve partnered with Drafthouse Films to give away some limited edition swag from the movie!

1 Grand Prize Winner: Miami Connection DVD, Poster, 7″ EP from Dragon Sound, the Band Featured in the Film

2 Runner-Ups: Miami Connection DVD

All you have to do to enter is tweet the following message exactly as it’s written below. You must be following @Noisecreep to be eligible:

Hey @Noisecreep – I love @DrafthouseFilms for resurrecting MIAMI CONNECTION!

We’ll pick three random winners over the weekend and announce them on Monday, Nov. 12.

Head to this link to see the cities where you can see Miami Connection on the big screen!

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