Ah, Total Recall.
What can one say?
Utterly stupid. And yet so much FUN.
I just caught the last 20 minutes or so of it on TV and forgot how much I enjoyed what was my first cert 18 film in a cinema (as I’ve said before, I was a really skinny and short kid and looked younger than I was. Oh, how times change) . Odeon, Clerk Street, Edinburgh, July 1990, with my mate Stephen and my brother Sandy. Yes, my younger brother. I was that wee.
The bits I caught just now mostly constituted the end of the film and, frankly, the bits I enjoyed the most. Inflating faces, deflating faces and Ronny Cox’s most hilarious onscreen death. Rob Bottin’s work was amazing on this one – even if I did read one arsehole write on YouTube that he thought The Thing’s FX were cheesy compared to today’s CG. Someone stop that kid and show him a real horror movie. His Kuato puppet was superb, even if the little bugger did look like he should have had a cigar in his mouth, And while Arnie and Rachel Ticotin do get a couple of amazing puppet stand ins for the more obviously painful shots – bulging eyes and tongues while shaking uncontrollably – it’s Ronny Cox who provided me and my companions with the biggest laughs, writhing around for a prolonged period in the Martian atmosphere, or lack thereof, only to have his eyes and tongue stick so far out that he succumbs to extreme puppet screaming and convulsing.
Martian atmosphere notwithstanding of course, as they'd have likely frozen to death in an instant and had the moisture evaporate from their bodies pretty quickly as well. Said the boffin. I don't know, but it wouldn't have happened like that. And if it did, their swelling would have ruptured every organ and blood vessel in their bodies. Ah, shit, it's an Arnie film. I shouldn't be saying any of this.
All that and my favourite farewell to Michael Ironside, a great actor with many onscreen farewells – “See you at the party, Richter!” Potentially one of Arnie’s greatest one-liners.
I did wonder if Richter's arms caught up with his as he fell and what the look on his face would have been like had he seen a pair of leather clad forearms swish past.