It should also be noted that I went into these movies unaware that they were related. I thought at the the beginning of Future Zone that we were just watching another David Carradine movie, cause my stoner friend Matt did not mention that they were related. He just intro-ed it as another Carradine film. So there's that.
David Carradine had a somewhat outta-nowhere career that wasn't too much to speak of. Pretty bland actor guy, made it somewhat big off his TV-show Kung Fu, and then was pretty quickly regulated to working in TV movies and direct to video things. He was definitely type cast, but successful enough, and I'm sure some people might even like him a lot. I'm not specifically pro or anti Carradine, I haven't seen enough of his stuff to judge, but these two movies certainly don't give him a big vote of confidence.
These movies are directed by amateur b-movie king David A. Prior who I did not realize had died this year. RIP David A Prior. His movies consisted mostly of direct to video or similar feeling movies. I don't quite understand IMDb sometimes, because they only put on the information they're given. But it seems like there should be a record somewhere of these movies, and the fact they probably weren't shown in theaters. But then again, maybe somewhere in like, Texas, played the movie once, and then they're not considered direct-to-video. I wonder how that works.
The plots are minimal. It's the future, some indistinct year, and in the future cops are pretty rough around the edges. They're mostly overweight, vest-wearing, greasy guys who come off as a bike gang more than police officers. David Carradine is one of these cops. He wears a denim vest, he protects a woman named Marion (I think) from some corrupt cops, and he has...wait for it....a stupid robotic hand weapon that helps him out.
The hand has a variety of powers, like super strength/super grip, it can shoot electricity, blah blah blah. The best thing about it by far is that, it's the only "future" type thing in the entire fucking movie from what I could tell. No jetpacks, no lasers, no robots...there is only robotic hands, and there is only one of them. All the baddies just have guns, it's not like David Carradine is fighting fair.
Future Zone is extremely similar. In this one, Carradine's son from the future comes back in time to help Carradine fight some anonymous baddies, and the only real mystery behind it is who would ever have a son with David Carradine's character Tucker. Carradine looks old, tired, overweight, and possibly on drugs for most of the two films, and everyone in supporting roles doesn't look much better. The question of who this would appeal to came up many times for me.
Late 80's / early 90's, rated R but only for like 2 minutes total worth of nudity throughout the 2 movies, not heavy on action or blood, just sort of a meandering story of cops vs robbers (or you know, general baddies). I guess "action" genre, but really, it deserves a spot in the "fluff" genre that honestly needs to exist. There is essentially no reason for these two films to exist.
Rating would have to be about 1 star each. I think the sequel was slightly better. But really, they suck. Only reason to watch them would be to make fun of them.