Total Recall

Corrected entry: Quaid and Melina both use the hologram device to trick Rickter and his men at the reactor. If the holograms are mimicking Quaid and Melina's actions then the bad guys should have spotted the real Quaid and Melina walking around just mere feet away.

Correction: They would mimic the moves behind a pillar, unseen by Rickter and his men.


Corrected entry: When Arnold's wife grabs a knife out of the sink and takes the first swing at him, you can see that there's nothing in her hand.

Correction: Completely wrong. The knife is very visible in her hand using slo-mo.


Correction: Strictly speaking, 'natives' would have been more accurate, yes, but if you take 'aliens' to mean non-humans, which is a common interpretation, his statement is quite reasonable.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: After Richter and Helm attack the Last Resort, during which Helm is killed by Thumbelina, Quaid and Melina escape into the mines with Benny to meet Kuato. After Lori and Dr. Edgemar reveal their deception, it doesn't make sense that Quaid would trust Benny, since he showed up the minute Quaid and Melina were trying to escape from Richter and Helm. This was a sign that Benny was working for Cohaagen.

Correction: The main reason he trusted Benny is because he is a mutant.


When Quaid first arrives at the Hilton Hotel, Benny only offers Quaid a ride and no-one else, like he anticipated Quaid's arrival. Benny conveniently shows up when Quaid and Melina are on the run from Richter and Helm, like he already knows they are in trouble. The rebel lieutenant doesn't know Benny, and the rebels presumably know everyone in their group since outsiders can be spies working for Cohaagen. Despite these signs that Benny could be one of Cohaagen's agents, Quaid still trusts him, but he knew not to trust Edgemar, who had lied about the adventure being a dream when it was reality.

Him picking up Quaid is not weird, just a cab driver like all others offering him a ride, stealing him away from someone else even. Him being a mutant totally eliminated any doubt about him. Quaid knows nothing of the politics on Mars so follows the choices of the rebels, who don't know how coincidental him being there is. Edgemar on the other hand was human, trying to convince him it's all a dream.


Corrected entry: Funny how the bad guys (Richter, et al) can pinpoint Quade with their scanner, but they run right past him on the way to his apartment.


Correction: They didn't turn the scanner on yet. They expected that his wife would have killed, or at least restrained, him on their way up. No need to scan when the know exactly where he is.


Corrected entry: The atmosphere of Mars is so cold that anyone who went outside without a spacesuit would freeze instantly.

Correction: In the summer when the sun is up the surface temperature of Mars could be as high as 35° Celsius. So no, you won't always freeze instantly.


Correction: Mars' atmosphere is almost like space, 100 times less dense than Earth's atmosphere. It is a myth that space is "cold", even when the local temperature is well below freezing. When absent most matter, heat loss is much slower. Your principal means of heat loss will be through radiation (which humans have not evolved to do - we principally cool through evaporation and convection). Because it has almost no atmosphere to trap heat with, the feeling of "cold air" that you might expect simply isn't as strong on Mars. (On the other hand, rapid expansion of gas causes rapid cooling. The gigantic fusion reactor probably *would* freeze them, as the released oxygen would be utterly cryonic.) Though the dark side of Mars is quite a bit cooler than the dark side of the moon, it is still not nearly enough to freeze instantly. You would not freeze instantly even on Earth in -60 degree weather either (although it would be incredibly painful).

Corrected entry: In the scene where Arnold is at the front desk of the hotel and retrieves the paper from the safety deposit box, he asks for a pen. The clerk gives him a red pen to write on the back of the paper stated "for a good time, ask for Melina". When the scene cuts to Arnold writing on the paper, the ink is black. When he returns the pen to the clerk, it is red again.

Correction: The body's black - it's just a red cap on a black pen.

Corrected entry: Never mind the absolute ridiculousness of having machine guns in a vacuum environment with many glass windows (and huge glass domes), why for safety's sake didn't the Mars colony have bullet proof glass?

Correction: Simply, money. Cohagen simply doesn't care. Bullet-proof glass is an expense he would rather not have.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Lori is fighting with Douglas Quaid, it shows her wearing a pair of brand new 1990 Ladies Nike Air sneakers, even though the film is supposed to be set quite some time in the future. It is unquestionable that Nike would have updated its product or changed to accommodate a change in fashion.

Correction: There are people today that would spend a few hundred dollars to buy a set of 1900 Levi jeans to wear. Maybe she bought a vintage set of Nike sneakers. Look at Will Smith's character in I, Robot.


Corrected entry: After Quaid and Melina escape from Cohaagen's scientists they retreat to the Pyramid Mines in order to locate the reactor. They come upon a dead end only to find Benny lying in wait inside a tunneling machine in order to kill them. Benny had no way of knowing they would be over there - Cohaagen and Richter didn't even know they had escaped the scientists yet - so there was no logical reason for Benny to have been waiting there for them. (01:32:25 - 01:33:25)

Phaneron Premium member

Correction: Benny (and Richter) was in the room when Kuato told Quaid to start the reactor, so he knew exactly what Quaid's plans were. He was probably ordered there to make sure Quaid (or his associates) didn't try to get to the reactor. It just so happened to be Quaid and Melina who went to the reactor, but Benny would be waiting for anyone.


Corrected entry: Listen to the technician at the recall center when Arnie first gets put in the chain to begin his "vacation", right before he is introduced to his choices for women. You will hear the male lab guy say, "This is a new one, blue skies over Mars", exactly what happens at the end of the movie! So, is it all just a dream?

Correction: Yeah, that's kinda the point - there are many references during the Recall centre section of the film to what subsequently happens, raising the possibility that the whole thing is, in fact, a dream. The references are pretty obvious (and there are more than you mentioned), which invalidates them as worthy trivia. As has been said many times, something that can be readily seen or heard simply by watching the film is not valid trivia.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: The alien machine apparently simply heats the glacier ice to produce oxygen. However, heating ice merely creates water vapour (steam). To produce oxygen from water requires a more complicated process involving electrolysis, and could not be done in mere seconds to produce enough oxygen to cover an entire planet. If that much oxygen (and hydrogen, don't forget) was pumped out that quickly, it would produce massive storms and lethal high winds which, when combined with all the dust on Mars would sandblast everyone to death, and the resultant storms and high winds would last for decades.

Correction: Several things: The glacier could be made up of frozen oxygen so there would be no need for electrolysis. Keep in mind that this is a fictional machine built by a fictional alien species set in a fictional movie in the future. So there is no saying what physical properties govern this device. Also, seeing as how no one has actually ever instantly mass-produced that much oxygen to cover an entire planet, there is no saying what the actual consequences would be.

Corrected entry: The psychiatrist that Arnold meets in his room did in fact work closely with Mr. Cohaagen. In Arnold's memory, we see Mr. C., Richter, and some other guys walking through the room Arnold will use his 3-D holo-image in. With them is the "psychiatrist" but with some glasses on.

Correction: No, this man is not the psychiatrist. It is just someone with glasses.

Corrected entry: When Arnold is in the hotel being talked down by the psychiatrist, the villains are waiting to get an elevator. When they get to the floor with Arnold's room they arrive on a different bank of elevators. They come up the main elevators only to arrive on the service elevators.

Correction: They don't arrive at the service elevator. It looks similar but if you look its different than the elevator Melina got out of.

Corrected entry: The film establishes that the core of Mars is made of ice. When planets are coalescing from gas clouds, cumulative gravity draws the heavier materials into the center of the planet. This is why Earth has a nickel-iron core and even gas giants have some solid material in the center. Ice is much too light to occupy this niche in Mars and would have been crushed and replaced by heavier metals in the shell around it, even if the ice was inserted after planetary formation by aliens.


Correction: Quaid (Arnold) says this, but I wouldn't say that means that "the film establishes it". Quaid is not a scientist and has no idea how this thing works. He sees a big patch of ice in a cave and decides the whole core of Mars is ice, it's probably just one ancient ocean that drained into an underground cave system and froze.


Corrected entry: When Arnie first activates the hologram in the old factory hall and faces it, it can be seen that the holo image holds the left hand (with the hologram projector) up; the real Arnie lets his left arm dangle.

Correction: As we see later in the movie, the hologram is a mirror image of the original person.

Correction: The moons are not potato shaped. Both satellites have topographic variations as large as 20 percent of local mean radii, and Deimos has a few large flat areas, but they appear round to the eye.

Corrected entry: After the fight with Richtor, Arnie throws his severed arms off the elevator. If you look closely at the bottom of the elevator you can see the arms do not fall all the way down. They disappear once they hit the floor of the stage Arnie is acting on - they forgot to animate some arms falling on the bluescreen image.

Correction: Rictor's arms were torn off when the elevator passed through a floor or a tier or something. Is it not possible that this is where the arms fell to? I don't think they were meant to fall all the way down...

You missed the point of the mistake. It's not about the arms falling to the Mars ground. As the elevator platform is moving up, we can see the background below the platform. When the arms are tossed over, they should be visible below the platform as they fall, since it's open space. But in the scene, the arms just disappear once they hit the real life stage ground because they weren't added in during post.


Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, where Quaid is about to get shot by the man with the bomb, (Cohagen), Melina arrives just in time to shoot him 5 or 6 times in the shoulder, then 6 or 7 more times in the chest. You can see that he is barely strong enough to pick up the remote detonation device. But, somehow, he is strong enough to keep himself from being sucked into the wind tunnel.

Correction: Adrenaline rush could account for that, people often find to posses strength they otherwise wouldn't have in life and death situations. Additionally, if the movie is just playing in Quaids' mind, it's not necessarily completely realistic and this part adds quite a bit to the drama, making the virtual holiday seem even more heroic.

Corrected entry: When Cohagen is boasting about how his plan to kill Cuato was a success, he mentions that Richter wasn't aware of the plan. But this makes no sense, because if Richter had managed to kill Quaid (and he had plenty of chances to do so) then the whole plan would have failed. Cohagen would have definitely made sure that Richter had orders not to kill him.


Correction: Cohagen mentions this in his rant to Quaid on how the plan almost failed. And, people do disobey orders.


Revealing mistake: Doug has the hologram when inside the alien nuclear reactor, and a bunch of bad guys encircle the holographic image and fire at it at point blank with automatic weapons, and not one bad guy gets hit. If they encircled the 3D image, at least a few bad guys would have been hit by their own men. (01:37:00)

More mistakes in Total Recall

Lori: They erased your identity and implanted a new one. I was written in as your wife so I could watch you and make sure the erasure took. Sorry, Quaid, your whole life is just a dream.
Douglas Quaid: Okay then, if I'm not me, who the hell am I?
Lori: Beats me. I just work here.


More quotes from Total Recall

Trivia: Most of the movie was shot in Mexico because it was believed labour costs to build the sets would be cheaper there, but it turned out that the cost of importing required materials from the US negated this benefit.


More trivia for Total Recall

Question: Does the movie give any indication with any evidence in the movie that Douglas is dreaming for the ending?

Athletic Jason

Answer: Verhoeven points out that if a viewer believes the whole film is a dream, then Edgemar's prediction that Quaid will end up being lobotomized is fulfilled in the fade to white which ends the movie.

Answer: When Dr. Edgemar is in the hotel room with Quaid and Lori, Quaid puts a gun to Edgemar's head and says that if it's all a dream, that Quaid could just pull the trigger and it wouldn't really matter. Edgemar goes into details about consequences of what would happen if Quaid killed him. As seen, when Quaid kills Edgemar the walls of the hotel room crash down, Quaid believes he's the rebel savior, had visions of alien civilization and is best friends with Cohaagen and the white light that is at the end of the movie indicates that Quaid was lobotomized.

Also, consider the end when Quaid and Melina are on the surface of Mars, suffocating. Their eyes are bulging, the Mars atmosphere is burning their lungs, and their faces are bloated. Yet a few minutes later they're perfectly normal and having a romantic kiss.

Answer: There are many signs that the adventure was reality. When Quaid watched the news (before going to Rekall), the newscasters asked Cohaagen about Kuato and alien artifacts (the alien reactor) in the Mars Pyramid Mine. Lori didn't want Quaid going to Mars or thinking about Mars. Harry didn't want Quaid to go to Rekall, as he sounded very intense when he said this to Quaid. The Rekall technicians popped Quaid's memory cap before they could implant his ego trip. Richter and Helm were watching Quaid the whole time and his trip to Rekall made them attempt to kill him before he could remember the alien reactor and his previous identity. Edgemar lied when he said Quaid's "dream" started in the middle of the implant procedure when Dr. Lull had told McClane they hadn't implanted the ego trip yet. Edgemar shouldn't have been sweating if it was a dream. Richter, Helm, Lori, Edgemar, and Benny were all trying to help Cohaagen keep his evil power and prevent Mars from having free air.

This isn't true. The DVD commentary states that if the viewer is believing that the story is a dream, then it begins right where the camera cuts to McClane and his female client watching the TV monitor. The bit where Quaid resists and Renata says she hasn't implanted the ego trip yet are part of the dream. The clue is that McClane's statement is "the trip is as real as any memory in your head." So for it to come across as real, it has to begin right there and then.

If Lori is really Quaid's wife, it seems strange that he would dream of her trying to kill him. When Richter and Helm are trying to kill Quaid, several people get killed in the crossfire. When Edgemar and Lori visit Quaid, Lori gives Edgemar a look right before he takes out the red pill, almost as if Lori is signaling Edgemar to do that. They are awfully eager for Quaid to take that pill, and the film's novelization states that the pill could possibly be a knockout dose or lethal. If Edgemar is a projection, he should not be sweating, which makes Quaid realise Edgemar is real. Those four agents who blast through the wall were back there listening to the conversation and waiting to see if Edgemar's plan with the pill would work. Richter and Helm were downstairs in the bar waiting to hear from Lori and Edgemar that they captured Quaid. If Edgemar was telling the truth, why would Richter and Helm be down in the bar waiting? Also, the novel points more toward reality.

You are forgetting to assume the dream shows him stuff that didn't actually happen, like innocents being killed in crossfire. If it is all a dream it all doesn't matter, he is being fed lies by the implants, about his wife, about Cohaagen, about everything, the fact it connects to real events before he went to Recall (which don't show the truth at all) just shows the ingenuity of the implants, who use his memories to create the story. Edgemar sweating could be another illusion caused by the implants. If it really is all a dream the moment he killed Edgemar the implants screwed his brain up enough there was no way of knowing what was real anymore, and his wife is sitting besides him at Recall crying that he isn't going to wake up anymore, whilst Quaid is experiencing killing her in his dream. This then goes on for him until the end it lobotomizes him. That is, if you believe it was a dream.


There is a villains site called Villains Wiki. Edgemar is listed on this site along with Cohaagen, Richter, Helm, Lori, Harry, and Benny. The article about Edgemar states that Quaid realises Edgemar is working for Cohaagen when he sees him sweating. It also states that Edgemar's goal is to aid Cohaagen in his plans. Also mentioned is the fact that Richter is Lori's real husband and is angered when Quaid kills her the same way he kills Edgemar.

Answer: The novel also reveals another detail that indicates reality. Before it is revealed that Richter is Lori's real husband, Quaid doesn't seem to love Lori. He dreams of Melina every night and actually loves Melina despite being with Lori. Quaid wonders why Lori married him, and she doesn't seem to have aged since their wedding. Once Lori reveals that their eight years together is actually a six-week memory implant, Quaid realises that is why his eight year memory of Lori hasn't changed. When Lori tries to detain Quaid for Richter and Helm at the Hilton Hotel, she tries to kill Melina because she knows Melina is Quaid's dream girl.

Answer: The novel by Piers Anthony has other signs that indicate Quaid's adventure was reality. When Richter and Helm are looking for Quaid on Earth, it says the bug in Quaid's head alerted them about his trip to Rekall. Richter and Helm went to Rekall to question the Rekall staff and dispatch them. When Richter and Helm are chasing Quaid and Melina on Mars, Quaid asks Melina if she has ever heard of Rekall, and she tells him she used to model for Rekall, which explains why Quaid saw Melina's face on the screen during his implant procedure at Rekall. Furthermore, Edgemar tells Quaid he is still at Rekall strapped in the implant chair, but McClane told the other Rekall staff members to dump Quaid in the Johnnycab and send him home. So it doesn't make sense that Quaid is still at Rekall after they sent him home.

Answer: The "dream" is when Quaid thinks Lori is his wife. Lori is really Richter's wife. The dreams Quaid had of Melina were visions reminding him of his past life.

Answer: Edgemar's red pill may have been a knockout dose so Richter, Helm, and Lori could take Quaid to Cohaagen. The red pill could also have possibly been poison, like cyanide. The pill wouldn't have returned Quaid to reality because he was still in reality.

More questions & answers from Total Recall

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