VIDEO: Total Recall (1990)

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Recently, Hollywood made an attempt to wipe the original Total Recall from your memory, but The DVD Shelf is here to remember it for you—wholesale! We’ll delve into the Schwarzenegger classic, beginning with the original Philip K. Dick short story that inspired it, the film’s lengthy development, and how they pulled it all together. And, yes, we’ll even look at that remake.

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  • Evan Folman

    Total Recall is pretty much my favorite movie. I have the DVD special edition that comes in a tin case shaped like mars and the 06′ Blue Ray version. I didn’t know there was a better version of the Blue Ray released, I might have to track that down.

    I wanted to give the remake a chance and judge it on its own merits, but it’s just a flashy modern take on the original with all of its elements either watered down or glossed over. Super disappointing. Oh, and ‘The Fall’ doesn’t make any sense. If it’s powered by momentum. why would gravity shift in the middle of its descent?

  • Muthsarah

    When I first heard of this movie, I thought it looked incredibly stupid. I could blame the marketing, but I think it was just the weirdness of it. Ah-nold movies are usually of the sort that you know exactly what you’re getting going in. Thankfully, I eventually saw the movie. What a wonderful hunk of cheese it is. He’s still terribly cast, but if the only way to get an old sci-fi story on the screen is to give an ill-cast megastar top billing, well…it sometimes works. It did here.

    It’s not great, it really isn’t. But it’s the kind of imaginative, fun popcorn sci-fi flick that we hadn’t had cause to miss back in the 90s. Before the dark times. Even though they’re different in many ways, I kinda compare Total Recall to Forbidden Planet. It’s dated, it’s silly, it’s deep if you want to view it that way, but it’s basically pure popcorn. In space. If that sounds even remotely entertaining, it’s totally worth a go. Very definition of an easy 4 outta 5 star movie.

  • The_Stig

    Goddamn right it’s a must-own movie.

  • Cristiona

    Wow. Just imagine this as a Cronenberg-directed picture with Patrick Swayze. The mind reels. Although, I have to admit, having Rutger Hauer as the lead would have been awesome.

    • CBob

      David Cronenberg + PKD is one of those combos that’re so natural and brilliant you wonder why it’s never happened. i soooo wanna see that happen someday.

  • Dennis_Fischer

    You might have mentioned the subtly planted idea that the whole movie is actually Schwarzenegger’s implanted fantasy. Before he goes under initially at Rekall, we hear “a thing with two heads” and “blue skies on Mars?.” and Quaid later encounters both of these things. Additionally, at the end of the film, instead of fading to black, as most movies do, TOTAL RECALL fades to white, suggesting someone waking up from a dream. If you go back through the movie, I think you will find more hints of this on your own.