As part of our retrospective series on the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we are proud to present the early ’90s classic, Total Recall. Back before the dominance of PG-13 blockbusters, Paul Verhoeven gave us this audacious, mind bending action sci-fi that was as outrageous as it was thoughtful. Bask with us in the glorious ultra-violence, iconic one-liners, eye popping effects, and excessive femme-fatales!
Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) seems to have it pretty good in 2084 A.D. A heavily muscled construction worker, he boasts a beautiful wife, Lori (Sharon Stone), good friends, and a technologically advanced home featuring video phones and even video walls. But he is haunted by dreams of a mysterious brunette woman and the red wastelands of Mars. Quaid visits Rekall, a unique travel agency that implants the memory of an adventure into its customers’ minds, to get the chance to live out his Martian fantasies. When something goes terribly wrong and a blocked off portion of his mind is activated, Quaid finds himself at the center of a dangerous conspiracy. He must travel to Mars and get to the bottom of why he is being hunted by trigger-happy henchmen. But how can he know that what he’s experiencing isn’t just part of the Rekall experience? Are the mutant revolutionaries on Mars his allies, enemies, or complete fabrications? And is the lovely brunette at his side nothing more than a figment of his imagination?
“Still a ripsnorting yarn with lashings of sex and violence that hasn’t aged a day.” — David Jenkins, Little White Lies
“Melding the ever-more-workable Schwarzenegger mystique with a better-than-average science-fiction premise, the director Paul Verhoeven has come up with a vigorous, superviolent interplanetary thriller that packs in wallops with metronomic regularity.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times
“All told, Total Recall is a powerful brew of mordant humor, keen wit, refreshing originality and graphic violence.” —Dennis King, Tulsa World