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19 Things You Didn’t Know About Total Recall

Get you ass to Mars...again.


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Before you see the updated version of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 sci-fi/action classic starring Kate Beckinsale, Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel (Read about it here!) reacquaint yourself with the original. We poured through the newly released pristine-looking Total Recall Mind-Bending Edition Blu-ray and learned tons of things about a movie we’d already seen more times than we can recall. Perhaps someone wiped our memory. Or maybe we just huffed too much spray paint. Probably a little bit of both. (Who are you again?)

NOTE: There are tons of major spoilers below so if you’ve never seen it stop reading now. Then again, if you’ve never seen Total Recall get the hell off our site. We want nothing to do with you!

Vagina Face Is Hank


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The sassy mutant on Mars with a female private part where his nose should be is Dean Norris, better known as FBI hot-head/Walt’s brother-in-law Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad.


Photos Courtesy of Sony | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Rear View Projection Train


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

While Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is riding the train on Mars there’s a moment when it pans away and you see him looking out the window. Since the whole set was a miniature, and CGI wasn’t the norm, the effects wizards projected the image on him on a tiny screen that doubled as a window. It’s like your dad’s model trains, except interesting and comes from a place of ingenuity instead of being sad and coming from a place of a loveless marriage.

His Name Really Wasn’t Quaid


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

In the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” the lead character’s name was Quail. However, since this was being developed when the Vice President of the United States was a really stupid guy named Dan Quayle they changed it to keep from it being misinterpreted as a political statement. (Not that Quayle wouldn’t have understood the plot anyway.) In the original story the lead character was also an accountant but they made him a construction worker to suit Arnold. There’s other differences but rather than list them out, go to Amazon and read the damn story yourself.

The Seeing Eye Dog Had To Pee


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

That incredible full-body scanning machine, which seems so much cooler than what airports currently use, was the only CGI used in the film. What’s this have to do with a dog? When Quaid walks through the machine the first time he’s followed by a blind guy with a guide dog. For a frame of reference the effects guy filmed everyone walking through the machine from the other side so they could match it up with their skeleton counterparts. When the dog walked through it he took a pee. At first they were going to leave it in as a gag, but director Paul Verhoeven later thought it would take away from the groundbreaking X-ray effect--the audience had to think walking through the machine was routine and a dog taking a leak would be distracting--so he had them animate it straight.

Quaid’s From Texas


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

One of the fake IDs Quaid acquires is James Brubaker (he uses it to check into the Mars Hilton) which says his home address is El Paso, Texas. We know there’s a possibility the “Brubaker” might be based out of Texas and live in another state, but then you’d have to explain why the phone number in the Rekall ad on the subway has a 915 area code, which is the same one in El Paso, Texas. Consider your mind pwned!

A Production Assistant Gets A Shout Out


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Of the many goodies in the case, the first fake ID Quaid see is for the “Pyramid Mines” with the name Steve Lionetti, who was a production assistant for the film.


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

You can also see a bit of yellowish cloth draping out of the case, which appears to be the dress he wears while fooling Mars customs agents with the creepy fake head. “Two Weeks!”

The Most Unbelievable Part of the Film


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

There are a lot of far out concepts in this movie, but the one we still don’t buy is how well Quaid wraps that wet towel around his head to muffle the tracking signal. You could leave us in a room for a year with the same towel and we wouldn’t come close. But give Arnold 30-seconds and he masterfully turns it into a functional turban.

Wide Shots Are On Arnold


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The studio didn’t want to put up the money to have wide shots of Mars. After Arnold intervened the studio gave in and let them have their stupid, awesome shots.

The Year is 2084


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Even though they never directly offer up the year, it’s clearly identified in the passport stamp. Thanks Blu-ray clarity!

The World Series Takes Place In Tokyo


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Baseball officially goes global in the future and ESPN is still the sports leader. Moments before Quaid heads off to work we hear that game 5 of the World Series is live from Tokyo.

Smushed In Creepy Face


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

When the fake head is removed Arnold’s face looks really weird. At first we justified it away as it being a really uncomfortable mask pushing his face to the side. Turns out it’s a fake head underneath the fake head. It’s the Inception of heads.

Get Your Papers Here


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

While most print media is going away, USA Today thrives in the future. So much so that they have a Mars edition and are “Number 1 in the Galaxy.”

Sharper Image Makes a Comeback


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Among the many real brands used in the film--Hilton, Best Western, Jack in the Box--Sharper Image has a [Website http://www.sharperimage.com/] but no longer has retail stores. So if you’re in a pinch and need some sandalwood shoe fresheners, fish finding watch or a free massage in a chair you could never afford, head to red planet.

Sharon Stone Was A Prude


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

In the commentary, which has become an Internet phenomenon because Arnold basically [describes exactly what’s happening on screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncR2_pnzngM], Verhoeven said he wanted Stone to get more nude and she refused. (It’s odd since she had already appeared nude in other films--Blood and Sand, Action Jackson--and even posed for Playboy to promote the movie.) Verhoeven definitely got even when he made her the star of Basic Instinct.

You’re Told The Ending Three Times During the Movie!


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

When James Cameron made Titanic, he wasn’t the first to outline the entire plot of the film at the beginning. When Quaid goes into Rekall, the sleazy salesman Bob McClane tells him exactly what his adventure will be, including two weeks in a suite at the Hilton, people shooting at him, getting the girl and saving the universe.


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Moments before Quaid undergoes the Rekall procedure the female doctor shows his photos of landscapes we see later in the movie and the nerdy technician Ernie reads the program being implanted aloud: “Blue Skies On Mars.”


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

If that weren’t enough to telegraph the plot, when the sweat-prone Dr. Edgemar visits Quaid at the Mars Hilton he details the last half hour of the film, including uncovering ancient alien artifacts and finding out he’s bosom buddies with the evil Cohaagen (Ronnie Cox).

Rated X


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Total Recall originally received an X rating due to excessive violence. A few parts had to be trimmed, one of which was Quaid using an unlucky commuter on the subway escalator as a human shield.

You Look Like Kuato


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

This is something you probably already knew, but we felt this was the perfect way to get it out in the open without it being awkward. Perhaps if you brushed your tiny teeth and wiped all that slime off your face you’d look less like Kuato, but probably not.

Lots of Fake Heads


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Legendary creature creator Rob Bottin did the make-up effects, and almost all worked out flawlessly...when watched on VHS. On Blu-ray you can clearly see the robotic mechanisms in Arnold’s throat when his face is about to explode.

It Was All A Dream


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The brilliance of Total Recall is how you can either believe everything happened or Quaid is strapped to a machine at Rekall living out this fantasy in his head. Unlike most directors who refuse to tell the audience what really happened--Christopher Nolan for Inception, Tarantino never reveals what’s in the glowing Pulp Fiction case--Verhoeven clears the air for good: It was all a memory implant. He explains that when the film fades to white at the end it’s Quaid’s brain dying forever. This doesn’t stop Internet nerds from arguing the opposite view and we have some questions of our own because Verhoeven has a few moments that make it ambiguous.


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Why did Stone and the construction coworker give those dirty looks behind Quaid’s back when he suggested going to Rekall?


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

How can there be scenes without Quaid? If it’s his dream wouldn’t he always be present? Like when Richter (Michael Ironsides) meets with Cohagen. It offers up information to the audience, but if it’s all in Quaid’s head wouldn’t he see it too?


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

But since Verhoeven, who says he loves the ambiguity since people want to believe the hero should live, says he dies, then he dies. Thanks, Paul. Case closed. Deal with it. Wow, it’s getting late. Can someone please call us a Johnny Cab? We’d like to go home now.


Photos Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Thanks! Can we also borrow your thumb? We’re totally out of credits.


Get the Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition on Blu-ray