THEY STOLE HIS MIND, NOW HE WANTS IT BACK.
In 2048, construction worker Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) buys a memory trip to Mars as a secret agent fantasy, but the procedure goes wrong… Done in the same uncompromising, hugely entertaining way as the director’s RoboCop (1987), this movie has a sense of humor, heart-pounding action, imaginative sets, cartoonish violence and an intricate story where we (and the Hitchcockian lead character) are never quite sure of the difference between reality and fantasy. Elevated by Jerry Goldsmith’s pulsating music score that underlines the film’s brutality, as well as some very imaginative work by special effects wizard Rob Bottin.
1990-U.S. 109 min. Color. Produced by Buzz Feitshans, Ronald Shusett. Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Screenplay: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman. Short Story: Philip K. Dick (“We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”). Music: Jerry Goldsmith. Makeup: Rob Bottin, and others. Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Douglas Quaid), Rachel Ticotin (Melina), Sharon Stone (Lori), Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell.
Trivia: Patrick Swayze was allegedly first considered for the lead. Followed by a TV series, Total Recall 2070 (1999); remade as Total Recall (2012).
Last word: “If I say that, for me, ‘RoboCop’ is about Lost Paradise, that’s kind of exaggerated – but it’s something that, to some degree, is in the heart of the movie. And if I say that ‘Total Recall’, for me, had to do with fear of psychosis, that’s the same over-and-understated situation, yeah? It has to do with the fear – a basic fear of myself – that psychosis is a way my brains could go. […] When people who behave nice suddenly turn out to be monsters and criminals and kill you; when danger is around every corner, while normally it’s okay; when reality changes to that degree, suddenly – that’s the case for people who are psychotic. Now, certainly ‘Total Recall’ has that element.” (Verhoeven, Film Comment)