4Total Recall (1990) -- Arnold Is Going to Get a Lobotomy
The "Happy" Ending:
The plot of the original Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger is pretty much the same as the recent Colin Farrell remake, but we're going to go with the original here because we don't hate you that much. Arnold is a construction worker in the future who decides to take a mental vacation by implanting fake memories of a trip to Mars. However, the procedure reveals that Arnold is actually a secret agent who was brainwashed and sentenced to bone young Sharon Stone every morning.
With the help of a hot rebel chick called Melina, Arnold uncovers the conspiracy and defeats the bad guy in an epic showdown on Mars. The last shot is of Arnold and Melina triumphantly kissing in the Martian landscape, and then the image fades to white.
Apparently, having your face expand to the size of a beach ball carries no lasting physical harm.
But After the Movie's Over ...
That fade to white? That's Arnold being lobotomized. Seriously. This isn't even some theory of ours -- it's what the movie tells us is happening.
There's some debate about whether most of Total Recall actually happens in Arnold's dreams or not, but as far as we're concerned, it's pretty clear -- everything (and we mean EVERYTHING) that happened after he sat down to take his dream vacation went exactly as the dream salesman described it. Arnold became a secret agent, people were trying to kill him, he met an exotic woman and he killed the bad guy, Vilos Cohaagen. They even showed him the exact face of the woman who would show up in his dream.
"Make her look like that chick from The Running Man ... eh, close enough."
And the name of this prepackaged fantasy? "Blue Skies on Mars," which turned out to be a spoiler for the very last image he sees in his dream ... and possibly his life.
You see, there's a little scene where a sweaty guy comes up to Arnold and claims to be a scientist speaking to him from the waking world. This guy warns him that he's suffered a "schizoid embolism," and if he doesn't come out of the dream soon, he'll be lobotomized. Arnold basically goes "Ah believe you ... just kiddin'," and shoots the guy in the head, then goes on with the rest of the movie.
However, everything the sweaty man warned Arnold about comes true -- he even gave away the big plot twist, which is that Arnold's original personality was working for Cohaagen against the rebels. As the man put it, "One minute you'll be the savior of the rebel cause, and the next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You'll even have fantasies about alien civilizations ..."
In other words, all the crazy plot twists and stomach aliens that come in the last part of the movie are the result of Arnold's brain misfiring as doctors remove chunks of it from his skull.
3Timecop -- Van Damme Can't Remember the Last Ten Years of His Life
The "Happy" Ending:
In Timecop, Max Walker is a cop who protects time, and he's played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, so that tells you that his main method of preventing universe-shattering paradoxes consists of kicking people in the face. Ten years ago, Walker's wife was killed under mysterious circumstances, but he can't go back and save her because that's against the law. A seemingly unrelated case, however, leads Walker to the year of his wife's death, and he teams up with his own past self in order to stop the bad guy from changing the future.
This was during Van Damme's "I'm the only co-star I can work with" period.
At the end of the movie, Walker goes back to his present in the year 2004 ... and when he comes home, he's shocked to find that not only is his wife alive, but they have a kid. Hooray! Now that he has his life back, Walker and his family live happily ever after.
But After the Movie's Over ...
Except that Walker didn't get "his" life back -- he still has the memories from the old timeline where his wife was dead and they never had children. He doesn't even know the kid's name.
"Hey, uh ... Bicep? Roundkick? Mullet?"
The movie establishes that when the future is changed, anyone who was traveling in time when it happened still keeps the memories from the old version. The first time Walker travels to 1994, he fails to stop the bad guy, and when he gets back to 2004, the whole world is different and he's the only one who realizes it. The same thing happens at the end of the movie: Walker's wife and son remember him, but they are practically strangers to him. He has ten years of useless memories from a different life where he was a bachelor living alone in his apartment.
This means he can't do butt crunches in the kitchen anymore.
That's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that this timeline's Walker is still out there, and once he gets home, it's gonna get extremely awkward (they're probably going to have to kung fu fight each other to decide who gets the family). Think about it: Walker left his double in the past, stepped into the time machine and then stepped out in the present -- at no point did the two merge with each other or something. Walker is now a man out of time, an exile from a shittier world that no longer exists.
Meanwhile, a dude who looks like him is banging his wife. Happy ending our rock hard, kitchen-crunching asses.
At least he has the splits to keep him company.