Black-belt Sabbath - Page 2

'Miami Connection' is the greatest movie you've never seen

Rock 'em, sock 'em: despite its title, 'Miami Connection' takes place in Orlando.

But two decades or so later, a curator for Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema bought a $50 35mm print off eBay, having no idea what it was. It instantly became an object of cult adoration by patrons, and the Drafthouse's distribution arm now has a midnight phenomenon that's growing nationwide.

Miami Connection is like 2003's The Room, in that it's one of those rare flabbergasting movies which seems to approach its medium as if no one involved had ever seen (let alone worked on) a film before, starring a multi-talent whose performance must be seen to be disbelieved. And who, like Tommy Wiseau, now basks in the belated appreciation of his sole screen vehicle, seemingly oblivious to the precise nature of that appreciation.

The film really is All That. Suffice it to say that Mark (Kim) is one hell of a taekwondo instructor as well as a member of an electro-rock band called Dragon Sound, a "new dimension in rock 'n' roll." This is due to ideas like (actual line here) "We could write another taekwondo song, then after Tom does one of his guitar solos we can all break boards!" When Jane (Kathy Collier) is caught going out with bassist John (Vincent Hirsch) by her creepily possessive drug lord brother Tom (Angelo Janotti), it's black belt taekwondo rockers versus kickboxing motorcycle-riding bad guys. Before Good triumphs, there is an "International Programming Contest," spring break-type comedy, a gym full of people making those show-off weightlifting sounds that announce "I am a giant tool," gratuitous biker-chick toplessness, terrible songs with power-of-positive-thinking lyrics, and much yelled dialogue leading to countless fights, shootings, and stabbings. There is also the parting onscreen message "Only through the elimination of violence can we achieve world peace." A bit late, that.

Miami Connection's clash between low-end but professional basic craftsmanship and batshit-crazy amateur everything else is a never-ending delight. Kim still operates a taekwondo studio in Florida, and has since also become a "philosopher/author/inspirational speaker." He will not be attending the Roxie's screenings this week. But as with Mr. Wiseau's magnum opus, his movie can only snowball in terms of repeat viewers and fresh converts — so eventually, he's bound to show up in the flesh to be worshipped.

And worship we will. 


Fri/2-Sat/3, 10:45pm, $6.50-$10

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF

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