Sunday’s release of the new “Total Recall” trailer may have hinted at a movie that will forever change the hearts and minds of today’s seven year old nerds-to-be, but when I think back on my childhood, the original “Total Recall” stands out as one of the most totally awesome (and possibly the best) Schwarzenegger movies ever made. Sit back, contract a cold, and take a deep dive with me into a movie that is so effing cool, it can’t be found anywhere on Netflix.
Mars. Forever the downfall of filmmakers everywhere. Remember “Red Planet”? How about “Mission to Mars”? Of course you don’t. They were so atrocious your mind forced the traumatic memories into the deep recesses of your consciousness, so you would never have to face your Mars movie shame ever again. Rejoice Mars fans! There is one film that accomplished what others couldn’t, a movie that sets the world record for most Arnold grunts in one film, and one in which a woman sports three breasts. Paul Verhoeven, we thank you verily.
The original “Total Recall” sports one of the most convoluted plots ever conceived. Quaid, played by Arnold Schwarzenneger, is your run of the mill jack-hammerer who spends his waking hours trudging through a blue collar life and bedding his hot wife Sharon Stone, only to fall asleep and dream of another woman on the faraway planet of Mars.
His discontent with his marriage and other earthly responsibilities leads him to seek the services of Rekall Inc., a company that specializes in implanting false memories into a client’s brain that they remember as a vacation they took. Quaid, in his hubris, chooses to go on vacation to Mars as a secret agent and decides to cheat on his wife via memory by designing the girl of his dreams (literally!) to be his lover on his vision quest. Unfortunately, as often happens in movies, things go awry in the procedure and Quaid suffers what is commonly referred to as a “schizoid embolism.” Or does he?
Both Quaid and the audience are led on a serious head trip in which we can’t decide whether Quaid is living his Rekall implanted vacation, or that the “schizoid embolism” caused Quaid’s memories of his former self, Hauser, to come to the surface. Quaid is quickly intercepted by former friends in his life who are now trying to kill him, most notably of which is his super-hot wife turned super-hot assassin Sharon Stone.
Quaid (or is it Hauser?) finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that leads him back to Mars where he attempts to save the planet. Because there is so much awesome packed into this movie and I don’t want to spoil it all, I’ll run through a few highlights:
» Arnold pulls a massive red “head bomb” out of his nose. Awesome.
» Arnold experiences explosive decompression and his eyeballs hang half way down his face. Awesome.
» Arnold says the words, “Damnit Cohaagen, give da people da air.” Awesome.
» A psychic mutant lives in a dude’s stomach. Awesome.
» Ancient aliens. Need I say more?
Go see this film if only to satiate you Mars cravings because unlike its predecessor, the new “Totall Recall” is looking to stay on Earth the entire time. Sadface.
Call them “cult classics.” “Guilty pleasures.” “Comfort movies.” We all have a mental rolodex of flicks that may not be terribly popular but, for one reason or another, they resonate in a very special way. Maybe you saw it at the right moment. Maybe you just see gold where everyone else sees feces. Whatever the case, these are the special favorites that you keep stashed away for sick days. These are some of ours. Tell us about your Sick Day Stash picks in the comments or on Twitter!