Friday Flashback – Total Recall

Friday Flashback is where I look back at the books, films, TV shows, and million and one other things that have inspired me over the years in my art, story telling and well... life! This week I'm have a look at the 1990 science fiction action film: Total Recall!



Total Recall stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside and is (vaguely) based upon the awesome Philip K. Dick story 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale'. The film is directed by Paul Verhoeven and was written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman. We all know (as much as I love his films) that Arnold Schwarzenegger was never going to win an Oscar. However, Total Recall, and quite rightly so, did win Special Achievement Academy Award for its brilliant visual effects.


The plot follows Arnold Schwarzenegger as a 21st-century construction worker, Quaid. Driven by his dreams of Mars and unable to afford a trip to the red planet he longs to visit, Quaid decides to take a to visit a company called 'Rekall Inc' to have a fake holiday memory of Mars implanted. During the process of implanting the fake memory, Quaid discovers that his entire life is a lie and a fake memory implanted in his brain. He learns that he is actually a secret agent who had become a threat to the government, and so those in power have implanted the fake memory and invented a domestic lifestyle for him under the supervision of a fake wife Lori, who is played by Sharon Stone – poor Arnold he must of hated every minute of it. Once he has realized his true identity Quaid travels to Mars to piece together the rest of his past. He is also on a mission to find the man responsible for his implanted memory, which unravels a fascinating plot involving mutants, aliens, a blue sky on Mars, and treacle thick conspiracy to cover it all up by 'the company'.



Total Recall is a a fast, furious action film and like most of Schwarzenegger's films of the time, jammed full with impressive stunts and mind blowing visuals (pre-digital too which just adds in my mind). Though the film bears only a passing resemblance to the Philip K. Dick short story it was based on it is an enjoyable, entertaining and very violent ride. It also has a woman with three boobies too, so you need to watch it for that fact alone!



Here is the trailer:







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