Fantastic Fest Photos: Miami Connection


Miami Connection Tae Kwon Do Grandmaster Y.K. Kim Watermelon2During my recent interview with Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson, we spoke about the American Film Genre Archive (AFGA) and some of the found films that  volunteers that support this nonprofit have saved. One of those titles is the zany 1987 martial-arts film Miami Connection, directed by ninth-degree black belt/philosopher/author/inspirational speaker Grandmaster Y.K. Kim, seen above demonstrating his skills before the movie screened during Fantastic Fest. The story's plot revolves around the members of the synth-rock band Dragon Sound, adult orphans and martial artists who fight criminals -- especially hated ninjas -- in the streets and back alleys of Orlando, Florida.

The special screening at Fantastic Fest 2012 included demonstrations by Grandmaster Kim as well as a reunion of the band Dragon Sound. Attendees at the afterparty pumped their fists and chanted with the band, many of them wearing sleeveless Dragon Sound t-shirts. See more photos after the jump.

Dragon Sound ReunionThe entire Dragon Sound band and Miami Connection stars reunited after 25 years both on the red carpet and onstage. Seen above are Joseph Diamand, Angelo Janotti, Grandmaster Y.K. Kim, Maurice Smith and Vincent Hirsch.

Miami Connection: Tae Kwon Do Grandmaster Y.K. Kim

Grandmaster Kim worked the crowd into a frenzy with his inspirational pre-show that he insisted on putting together himself.

Zack Carlson Human Fruit TrayZack Carlson provided support for a large watermelon that Grandmaster Kim sliced with a sword. Carlson is credited with discovering the elements for Miami Connection as a 35mm print -- no VHS or DVD had been made of this film.

Dragon Sound Onstage The 25th anniversary reunion concert of the fictitious synth-rock band Dragon Sound was lead by Grandmaster Kim -- providing back-up bass is Black Magic Rollercoaster filmmaker Thomas Humphreys, performing the anthem "Against the Ninja" and other featured songs from Miami Connection.

Now in HD and distributed by Drafthouse Films, Miami Connection will return the theaters November 2, 2012 and make its debut to home video and digital platforms on December 12, 2012.

[Photo credits: "Grandmaster Kim's Fruit Ninja," "Dragon Sound Red Carpet Reunion,, "Grandmaster Kim Speaks," "Zack Carlson: Human Fruit Tray," "Dragon Sound Onstage" all by Debbie Cerda, all rights reserved, available for use by request and with accreditation.]