Total Recall

Total Recall is a movie directed by Paul Verhoeven and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is your duty to watch the heck out of this movie.

Just The Facts

  1. The movie is based on a story by Philip K Dick "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"
  2. The movie features some of Arnie's best gutteral sounds on film. No one struggles quite as well as Arnie.
  3. It is said that over half of the world's men will watch Total Recall if they can't decide what else to watch and still have a good fucking night.

Cracked on Total Recall

Total Recall could be the best Arnie film ever, or at least in the top 3. Anyone who disagrees simply hasn't seen it often enough.

Paul Verhoeven, director of Robocop and (ahem) Showgirls not only made a fast-paced and violent film about some kind of hellish future, but also introduced the world to some kick-ass special effects, back when special effects didn't make the movie, they enhanced it. Furthermore these special effects from 1990 will happily take a dump all over some of the shitty CGI films of the past few years (you want names? OK: Van Helsing, Spiderman, The Mummy Returns, Die Another "Bond Surfing" Day).


Where he gets this suit is never explained however

For those of you who haven't seen Total Recall, imagine a cross between The Bourne Identity, The Fifth Element and Mary Poppins. For those of you who have seen the film - ssshhhh!

The movie also features memorable characters from the not-at-all reassuring robotic driver of the Johnny Cab:


To the crazed over-acting of Richter


And Benny, who has 5 kids to feed:


Was It All A Delusion? (Spoilers)

There's some debate over whether the whole plot, once Quaid undergoes his memory implantation at Rekall, is all part of his 'holiday' and/or a delusion. It's true, Rekall's promise is indeed fullfilled:

" get the girl, kill the bad guys and save the entire planet!"

And true enough, there are doubts voiced throughtout the movie whether what he is experiencing is real or fake. And, most tellingly, the girl who Quaid picks from Rekall's memory implant database is exaclty the woman who he does share his adventures with. But then there's this:

"Athletic build, slim, brunette, slutty yet demur..."

And this;

This is from Quaid's dream sequence at the beginning of the movie, before he goes to Rekall. So either

  1. Rekall managed to somehow have the exact same female memory implant that also existed in Quaid's fantasies (and somehow we don't think the actress Rachel Ticotin would mind being the only actress in Hollywood who fulfills his strict criteria) in some bizarre coincidence of crazy insane proportions, or
  2. Quaid was not having a delusion. He meets the girl he's been dreaming about because he remembers her from his previous life as an agent and she does exist... and Verhoeven was simply trying to cover all bases to ensure that no-one was ever sure whether it was a delusion or not by making her one of the implants at Rekall which makes no sense (but it's a director's prerogative we guess George Lucas)

See, if it is a delusion, then it makes sense that Quaid would have his virtual holiday with a woman he's been dreaming about, right? But then, how does Rekall know about his dreams?

So if it's not a delusion and he actually was an agent on Mars who had gained the confidence of a hooker, Rekall should still not have had a freakin' implant of that same woman... what, another whaky coincidence? Lazy directing? Over-analysis of an Arnie movie?

Finally, (well actually not finally at all, but it's good to pace yourself) two things happen:

Dr. Lull: [after Quaid goes crazy at Rekall] Listen to me, he's been going on and on about Mars. He's really been there.
Bob McClane: Use your head, you dumb bitch! He's just acting out the secret agent portion of his Ego Trip.
Dr. Lull: I'm afraid that's not possible.
Bob McClane: Why not?
Dr. Lull: Because we haven't implanted it yet!

Or right, this is part of the delusion too? Fine... what about this:

Douglas Quaid: All right, let's say you're telling the truth and this is all a dream. I could pull this trigger and it won't matter.
Dr. Edgemar: It won't make the slightest difference to me Doug, but the consequences to you will be devastating. In your mind, I'll be dead, and with no one to guide you out, you'll be stuck here in permanent psychosis. The walls of reality will come crashing down around you. One minute, you're the savior of the rebel cause; next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You'll even have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested; but in the end, back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized! So get a grip on yourself, Doug, and put down that gun!

Call that an answer? Why can't Dr Edgemar just re-implant himself? Surely then Quaid'll know it's a dream? But no, Dr Edgemar uses the ol' brinkmanship retaliation rather than just say "sure, shoot me and I'll come back in 5 minutes"?

So here's some other shit to ponder over.

Quaid (Arnold Shwarzenegger) has had his memory erased by Cohaagen and is living an idyllic life with a pretend wife. Cohaagen figured that the best person to watch over him as his fake wife is Sharon Stone - a totally hot babe who could get any man she wants.

Oh wait, she does have the man she wants - Cohaagen's right hand man Richter. And Richter knows about this. Why the fuck would you devise a convoluted plan involving brainwashing your friend and sending him under cover and then include the added complication of giving him a pretend wife who is already romantically attached to one of your friends? Could Cohaagen not have found an unscrupulous actress/hooker to do the same job? Was there a another Screen Actor's Guild strike that month? Why put your friends into such a situation? For kicks?

Who this guy? Well, probably, yes.

Cohaagen and his stooges desperately don't want Quaid to visit Rekall. If he does, it fucks up his implants and shit starts to go ape. This is why his friend at the construction site tells him not to go. This is why his stooge wife tells him not to go. This is why, when he does eventually go the salesman tries to get him to consider a Saturn trip instead. Remember? He acts all awkward when Quaid insists he wants to go to Mars, but reluctantly agrees. Then what does he do? He up sells. Completely forgetting what he's probably been told by Cohaagen, he starts telling Quaid: fuck going to Mars on holiday, why not go to Mars as a frickin' spy, solving alien puzzles and saving the planet - exactly the memory that his original implant was meant to cover. What was he thinking? The man is obviously a moron or such a true-blood salesman that he simply could not deny someone a purchase for more than ten seconds.

The case rests, you Honor.