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Total Recall

Estimates of the cost of this futuristic extravaganza range from $60 to $70 million making it one of the most expensive pics ever made. There are gargantuan sets repping Mars and a futuristic Earth society, grotesque creatures galore, genuinely weird and mostly seamless visual effects, and enough gunshots, grunts and explosions to keep anyone in a high state of nervous exhilaration.

Estimates of the cost of this futuristic extravaganza range from $60 to $70 million making it one of the most expensive pics ever made. There are gargantuan sets repping Mars and a futuristic Earth society, grotesque creatures galore, genuinely weird and mostly seamless visual effects, and enough gunshots, grunts and explosions to keep anyone in a high state of nervous exhilaration.

The story [by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon and John Povill] is actually a good one, taking off from Phillip K. Dick’s celebrated sci-fi tale We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, a working stiff in the year 2084, keeps having these strange nightmares about living on Mars, and it transpires that he once worked in the colony as an intelligence agent before rebelling against dictator Ronny Cox. Schwarzenegger had most, but not quite all, of his bad memories erased and was sent to Earth to work on a construction crew, with a sexy but treacherous wife (Sharon Stone).

A visit to a mind-altering travel agency named Rekall Inc. alerts Schwarzenegger to the truth, setting him off on a rampage through Earth and Mars with the help of equally tough female sidekick Rachel Ticotin.

The fierce and unrelenting pace, accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek strain of humor in the roughhouse screenplay, keeps the film moving like a juggernaut.

1990: Special Achievement Award (visual effects).

Nomination: Best Sound

Total Recall

  • Production: Carolco. Director Paul Verhoeven; Producer Buzz Feitshans, Ronald Shusett; Screenplay Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Gary Oldman; Camera Jost Vacano; Editor Frank J. Urioste; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director William Sandell
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 113 MIN.
  • With: Arnold Schwarzenegger Rachel Ticotin Sharon Stone Ronny Cox Michael Ironside Marshall Bell
  • Music By: