10 Things You Didn’t Know About Total Recall
A friend of mine recently asked me, “What’s the last good movie that Paul Verhoeven has made? Starship Troopers?”
For the life of me I couldn’t remember any of Verhoeven’s films post-Starship Troopers. I know he made Hollow Man a few years later and while that did feature a few good parts where Kevin Bacon creeped around on Elisabeth Shue in only a bra. What does this have to do with anything? Not much, but it goes to show you how many successful films Paul Verhoeven has been apart of in the past 20 years.
Total Recall is a film that was in line to be made for years, but only finally found its way into production after Arnold Schwarzenegger decided that he, in fact, wanted to star in it. It’s a seriously ground-breaking film, even more so than you might be thinking. I found the commentary track on the Special Edition DVD to be quite entertaining; Arnold and Verhoeven shoot the shit for the duration of the film and Arnie cracks a few jokes, as you might expect. I hope you enjoy this article half as much as I enjoy this movie. This is 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Total Recall.
1. The film was based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember it for you Wholesale.”
2. The movie went into pre-production in Australia with Patrick Swayze as the lead.
3. When Dino De Laurentiis was going to make the film Jeff Bridges was to play the lead. Richard Dreyfuss was also considered. At that time, the character of Quaid was going to be an accountant, not a construction worker. He became a construction worker after Arnold signed on to play him.
4. One of the last non-digital movies but also the first to use digital effects. Most of the Mars scenes used matte paintings and the x-ray machine scene was done using digital equipment.
5. The film was mostly shot in Mexico City. All of the cast and crew became sick at some point except for one of the screenwriters and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold had all of his food flown in from the U.S. as he had gotten sick while filming an earlier film “south of the border”. Verhoeven had to have an EMT on set for part of the filming because he was so sick and dehydrated that he constantly had to be given fluids.
6. They asked Sharon Stone to take her clothes off but “she was very timid” according to Verhoeven. He said that he got her back a couple years later when she starred in the jerk-tastic Basic Instinct.
7. The twist that Houser was a bad guy pretending to be with the rebels was something that was added late into filming. They thought it added another dimension to the choices that Quaid was making.
8. Takes place in 2084. Paul Verhoeven thought that Blade Runner was too advanced for the year that it was supposed to be portraying (2019).
9. Almost all of the fight scenes needed to be cut down because of how brutal they were filmed. Some of the death scenes are awesomely gruesome as they are so imagine how bad some of them had to be to get cut from the final film.
10. There are two thoughts on the conclusion of the film; the first is that everything we see actually happened. This is the happy ending that sees Quaid save the day, get the girl, and become a hero to the entire planet. The other thought is that everything we see after he visits Rekall is in his head and the white light that we see come from the sun on Mars at the end is actually Quaid being lobotomized. This appears to be a theory that Paul Verhoeven believes to be true and it’s the reason the entire movie is told to us by different characters throughout the film; cause it’s all fake.