I’ve been trying to tell you, someone has erased his memory.
Your mind is the center of your being. It not only houses all the functional elements to keep your body going, but your memories. Inside your mind is the essence of yourself, the one place where you wear no mask, where you think your darkest thoughts, your happiest views, etc.
But what if you were to lose that all one day. What if everything you thought about yourself didn’t exist? What if you weren’t really you, but someone else?
That my friends is Total Recall.
So yes, I’ve decided to review on of the most known, discussed, and debated films in history. This film has a little of everything action-adventure, horror, spy thriller, and science-fiction.
The film is based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. The script was purchased in 1974, but then tabled as they felt they didn’t have effects needed to make the film. Ten years later, the team was once again discussing the possibility of the film.
Of course it took a little while longer to get everything moving, but in the late 1980s they were ready to roll. One person who was all for moving it forward was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had loved the idea and wanted to star in it, but unfortunately they didn’t want him.
Weird right? By know Arnold was a big star; having Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, The Terminator, Red Sonja, Commando, Predator, and The Running Man all under his belt. Often times if he wanted something, he got it.
But strangely, the company preferred Patrick Swayze.
They started filming in Australia, but before they got too far, the company went bankrupt. Arnold convinced Mario Kassar to purchase the script, it undergoing some changes; and before you know it Arnold is given the main role. And it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without him.
So let’s move onto the film.
The film start out with two people climbing the Martian landscape; a brunette and Arnold’s character. As the two are walking, he trips and falls, cracking open his face mask.
But then he wakes up. It was all a dream.
Yes this is Douglas Quaid (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), a construction worker living in the world 2084. And this isn’t the first time he’s dreamed of Mars or had such nightmares. No this internal horror has been going on for a while.
His wife Lori, (played by Sharon Stone), tries to get him to spill about what happened and who he was with, but Quaid doesn’t want to talk about it.
They move on with their daily routine; Quaid tuning on the TV and hearing about the rebellion happening on Mars. The mayor Vilos Cohaagen, owns the mines on Mars that house the mineral needed to run everything.
No, but the thought did cross my mind. People on Mars pay for their air, and lately the rebels have been lead by a psychic mutant, Kuato, to try and win more freedom, air, etc.
Even though things aren’t very nice and downright dangerous on Mars, Quaid really wants to visit. He’s tired of his boring life and yearns for excitement or adventure. Lori doesn’t want to go to Mars and nixes that idea. Instead of arguing, Quaid heads out to work.
While on the subway commuting to work, he sees an ad for the agency Rekall. They implant memories of trips in your mind, it’s like going but for a fraction of the price.
The idea starts growing in Quaid’s mind. Maybe he should do it. He asks his friend Harry about what he thinks, but Harry tries to dissuade him from going.
Douglas Quaid: Ever heard of Rekall? They sell those fake memories.
Harry: Oh, “Rekall, Rekall, Rekall.” You thinking of going there?
Douglas Quaid: I don’t know, maybe.
Harry: Well, don’t. A friend of mine tried one their “special offers,” nearly got himself lobotomized.
Douglas Quaid: No s***?
Harry: Don’t f*** with your brain, pal. It ain’t worth it.
Douglas Quaid: I guess not. [Continues jackhammering, Harry watches in disbelief]
But Quaid can’t stop thinking about it. And he decides to go to Rekall. When he gets there he is at first hesitant about the trip, but the salesman McClane reassures him that the implants will be so real he won’t know the difference. Guaranteed fantastic experience or your money back.
Quaid decides to risk it and starts filling out the forms for his trip to Mars, but the salesman isn’t finished with the deal. For a bit extra they can improve the experience by altering his identity.
So here we go, one secret agent coming up. As they start the process, things don’t go quite as well as expected.
Quiad freaks out insisting that they blew his cover as a spy. McClane believes that it was an implantation gone wrong, but the doctor insists that it can’t be.
Dr. Lull: [after Quaid goes crazy at Rekall] Listen to me, he’s been going on and on about Mars. He’s really been there.
Bob McClane: Use your head, you dumb b****! He’s just acting out the secret agent portion of his Ego Trip.
Dr. Lull: I’m afraid that’s not possible.
Bob McClane: Why not?
Dr. Lull: Because we haven’t implanted it yet!
They fear for their lives as messing something up that “The Agency” set up could be bad for them all. They scrub his mind clean and dump him in a cab.
When Quaid wakes up he doesn’t remember anything, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t after him. From his best friend Harry:
[Harry pulls gun on Quaid]
Douglas Quaid: What the hell is going on? What the f*** did I do wrong? Tell me!
Harry: You blabbed, Quaid! You blabbed about Mars!
Douglas Quaid: Are you crazy? I don’t even know anything about Mars!
Harry: You should have listened to me, Quaid. I was there to keep you out of trouble.
Douglas Quaid: Harry, you’re making a big mistake. You got me mixed up with somebody else.
Harry: Uh-uh pal, you got yourself mixed up with…
[Quaid kicks him in the chest, commencing the fight]
To his wife Lori:
Quaid doesn’t quite know what is going on, but is out to find out. He ends up fleeing and being contacted by a “friend” who gives him a suitcase of tools to help him. But he has to hurry as the Agency are following him by GPS.
Getting out of here
He exchanges gunfire but manages to get away. This scene with the taxi driver, the Johnnycab, is my favorite scene. It expresses my feelings for most machines.
[Quaid enters a Johnnycab to escape from killers]
Johnnycab: Please state the street and number.
Douglas Quaid: Drive! drive!
Johnnycab: I’m not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?
Douglas Quaid: Anywhere just go! Go!
Johnnycab: I’m not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?
Douglas Quaid: S***! S***!
Johnnycab: Would you please repeat the destination?
Douglas Quaid: [Quaid rips the Johnnycab out and starts to drive himself] Aaahhh!
When he manages to get away, he opens the suitcase given to him and finds a message from HIMSELF!
Hauser: Howdy, stranger! This is Hauser. If things have gone wrong, I’m talking to myself and you have a wet towel around your head. Now, whatever your name is, get ready for the big surprise. You are not you, you’re me.
Douglas Quaid: [to himself] No s***.
Hauser: All my life, I worked for Mars Intelligence, I did Cohaagen’s dirty work. But then I met someone, a woman. She taught me a few things, like I was playing for the wrong team. All I can do now is make up for it. You see…[Points to his head]…there’s enough s*** in here to f***Cohaagen good. But if you’re hearing this, it means is that he’s got to me first. Now, here comes the hard part, old buddy. Now it is all up to you.
Douglas Quaid: [displeased] Great…
Hauser: Now, let’s start by getting that bug out of your head. [Shows the nose device] Take this out of the case, and stick it up your nose. Don’t worry, it’s self-guiding. Just shove real hard.
[Quaid takes a deep breath, and sticks the nose device up his nose.]
Hauser: When you hear a crunch, you’re there. Now, pull it out. Be careful! That’s my head, too.
[Quaid screams in pain while Hauser grins, then Quaid pulls out the bug]
Hauser: This is the plan. Get your a** to Mars, and go to the Hilton Hotel and flash the fake Brubaker I.D. at the front desk, that’s all there is to it. Just do as I tell you. You can nail that son of a b**** that f***** you and me. I’m counting on you, old buddy. Don’t let me down!
So Quaid finds himself in disguse headed for the red planet.
Once he gets there he finds himself caught up in figuring out what he knew and was trying to do, and to who’s side is he really on.
But as you watch this their is one question. Is this real? Or just the trip he paid for? He he really a secret agent? Or did his implants go malfunction?
I won’t reveal anymore as this is a film you need to check out for yourself.
Of course our facebook cover/mini poster.
To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
For the previous post, go to Haunted Harmonies of Halloween: Top 5 Songs to Play on Halloween
For more on Arnold Schwarzenegger, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)
For more Horror-Scifi films, go to They’re Here Already! You’re Next!: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
For more films based on a book, go to What Are the 39 Steps?:The 39 Steps (1935)