Top 365 Films – #178 – Total Recall (1990)

Top 365 Films - Total RecallDIRECTED BY: Paul Verhoeven

STARRING: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Mel Johnson Jr, Marshall Bell, Roy Brocksmith, Ray Baker, Michael Champion, Rosemary Dunsmore, Robert Costanzo, Marc Alaimo, Dean Norris, Debbie Lee Carrington and Lycia Naff

BUDGET: $65m

EARNED (Worldwide): $261.3m

AWARDS: 1 Oscar (Special Achievement for Visual Effects)



When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real, or does he?


Total Recall takes us to the distant future where we follow Douglas Quaid, a married man who is discontent with where he stands in his life at the moment. He has a recurring dream about a journey to Mars and on his way to work one day he sees an advertisement from ReKall Inc, a facility that implants fake memories of ideal vacations. Against the advice of a co-worker, Quaid orders a special package that’ll implant memories of an adventure trip on Mars as a secret agent. However something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he finds himself being hunted down and takes him on a journey to Mars.



Total Recall is a sci-fi classic that poses an interesting question throughout – is all this is reality or the package experience that Quaid is having? Arnold Schwarzenegger may have the superhero build and fight like one at times during this film, he brings a certain vulnerability that I hadn’t seen before in his previous films, playing a confused and at times frightened man who is completely bewildered by what’s going on and be hunted down. The special effects still hold up really well here (particularly the head mask sequence) and you get the Arnie film traditions of lots of action and violence and many one-liners (consider this a divorce) the probability of questioning whether everything we see is real or not is what brings you back for more viewings. A smart sci-fi film that still stands strong today.



FAVOURITE SCENE: Is it a hologram or is it really Quaid? No matter what that scene is fucking hilarious.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘See you at the party, Richter!’ – Douglas Quaid 

DID YOU KNOW?: Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally going to play the title role in RoboCop, but problems with the costume caused producers to drop the idea. After Schwarzenegger saw “RoboCop”, he said that he loved the movie and wanted to work with director Paul Verhoeven. When he and Verhoeven heard about “Total Recall”, they decided to work on that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.