Miami Connection (Vinegar Syndrome) 4K Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

One of the best film discoveries of the last ten years gets a brand new lease on life with an awesome 4K blu-ray release.

Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Release Date: August 18th, 1988 (theatrical) / August 30th, 2022 (4K blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 26 minutes 43 seconds (theatrical) / 1 hour 25 minutes 14 seconds (Escape from Miami)
Region Code: FREE (both 4K and 2K blu-rays)
Picture: 2160p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (4K blu-ray) / 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (2K blu-rays)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (both versions)
Subtitles: English SDH (both versions)
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch, Joseph Diamond, Maurice Smith, Angelo Janotti, Kathy Collier
Written by Joseph Diamond
Directed by Park Woo-sang
Rating: R (strong martial arts violence and gore, language, and brief nudity) (theatrical) / unrated (
strong martial arts violence and gore, language, and brief nudity) (Escape from Miami)

Note: All screenshots are taken from the blu-ray discs as I have no way of capturing screenshots from 4K discs.



What's It About?

Dragon Sound, the house band at Orlando's #1 nightclub is made up of five orphans and university classmates, all of whom are experts in Taekwondo, with a musical mission to share the importance of love and friendship. Lead singer John is engaged in a budding romance with Jane, sister of Jeff, a kingpin in one of Florida's toughest drug pushing gangs. A resentful rival band enlists the help of Jeff and his crew of violent, motorcycle riding thugs to exact vengeance for their bruised egos, against Dragon Sound. The five best friends are soon forced to put their fighting skills to the ultimate test, not just to defend themselves, but their entire community from the iron grip held over it by these narcotics trafficking hooligans.


Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and sporting a brand new 4K transfer from a 35mm interpostive, MIAMI CONNECTION looks great. The film was originally released on blu-ray by Drafthouse Films and that transfer was pretty decent, but this one blows it out of the water. Film grain is present and natural, detail is high, and skin tones are accurate. The HDR really brings this picture to life while balancing all of the colors and shadow detail. The blu-ray also looks great, just at a lower resolution and without the HDR.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track sound wonderful as well with the kickass soundtrack sounding oh so good. 

There is an English SDH track as well.


Audio commentary with Producer/Star Y.K. Kim and Joe Diamond
Resurrecting The Dragon: Looking Back at Miami Connection (Again) (32m 55s, HD, 1.78:1) We start at the beginning with Y.K. Kim doing the infomercial thing and teaching at his martial arts school. He gets the idea to make a martial arts film. He gets many of his students to be in the film and to work behind the scenes. Y.K. Kim had a hand in every aspect of the film including the music for which he kept having the musicians he hired go back and do a song over again until it was just right. The main ninja's head at the end of the film is one of the heads that was used on Troma's Surf Nazis Must Die. The guys who did the sound were terrified of doing the sound because they weren't sure what he was trying to do with the film after they saw it. They met with him a lot after getting the job and finally got what he was going for. Kim didn't like what they were doing and had them redo all their work. The original cut of the film (Escape from Miami in this set) is talked about.
Friends For Eternity (19m 20s, HD, 1.85:1) The cast first returned for this making of that was made for the Drafthouse Films blu-ray in 2012. It is a good making of, but the new one trumps it.
Dragon Sound Reunion 25th anniversary concert from Fantastic Fest 2012 (10m 7s, SD, 1.78:1) This is a fun little concert featuring two songs from the film.

Archival Y.K. Kim Promotional Videos

- The New American Dream (22m 7s, SD, 1.78:1) This is an infomercial that Y.K. Kim did in the 80s(?) where he gives his philosophies and whatnot. This is an excellent time capsule of what late-night tv used to look like. 
- Who is Y.K. Kim? (1m 53s, SD, 1.33:1) This video probably played in front of his speaking tours.

2012 Re-release Trailer (2m 17s, SD, 1.78:1)

Vinegar Syndrome has really gone out of for this release of MIAMI CONNECTION, with the only thing missing is the film's awesome soundtrack. The outer box is a nice thick sideloading hard box that sports brand new artwork on the front by The Dude Designs, who has done blu-ray covers for 88 Films (early Jackie Chan), Scream Factory (THEY LIVE), and Lionsgate (The WARLOCK COLLECTION). The artwork is really beautiful and captures the spirit of the film. The back of the box features the logo for the band in the film, Dragon Sound. Inside the hard box is another slipcover, this one being the usual Vinegar Syndrome style. The artwork here is taken from the film's re-release poster that Drafthouse Films made up for their blu-ray release. The blu-ray case features reversible artwork with The Dude Designs artwork on one side and the film's poster on the other. Inside the case you will find three discs (one 4K disc and 2 blu-rays). The 4K disc gets The Dude Designs artwork, the 1st blu-ray gets the Dragon Sound logo artwork, and the ESCAPE FROM MIAMI disc gets the poster artwork.

Each disc is REGION FREE


MIAMI CONNECTION is the perfect film to watch when you are feeling down. It is region filmmaking down right and the film is wildly entertaining. This set from Vinegar Syndrome is just wonderful, with the film being presented in 4K for the first time along with the prerelease version of the film, presented here for the first time ever. This release is so good that it will probably end up on my best of list at the end of the year.




Miami Connection

Escape from Miami



Post a Comment