Total Recall is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's most fascinating movies. The science-fiction action film is set in the future and centers around a mild-mannered man named Douglas Quaid, who is seeking to escape his normal life. When he signs up for a program that simulates an adventure in his mind, Quaid finds himself mixed up in a conspiracy taking place on the colonized society of Mars.
The movie embraces the wildness and weirdness of the insane plot, creating a strange and fun adventure. It's also filled with so many memorable lines that fans still quote to this day. Here are the best quotes from Total Recall.
10 "Let Me Suggest That You Take A Vacation From Yourself?"
The story behind Total Recall comes from the mind of legendary sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick. Like most of Dick's work, the ideas behind the story are interesting enough for dozens more. Here, Dick introduces the idea of simulated "vacations."
The service is provided by a company called Rekall where they can provide people with a simulated adventure. When Quaid is looking for an escape, the salesman pitches it as a vacation from himself. Given how Quaid will struggle with his true identity throughout the film, it is a foreboding promise.
9 "Get Your Ass To Mars."
According to Total Recall, Mars will be colonized by the year 2084. Though their predictions might be a bit optimistic, this makes for a pretty interesting adventure for Quaid. After the Rekall procedure goes wrong, Quaid is scrambling to discover what is real and what isn't.
He finds a message that he apparently left himself previously, although the message suggests that he is not who he thinks he is. The past Quaid orders his future self "Get your ass to Mars." It opens up the rest of the adventure and is delivered memorably by Schwarzenegger.
8 "You Got A Lot Of Nerve Showing Your Face Around Here, Hauser."
When Quaid arrives on Mars, he finds to his surprise that he has already been there. He continues to find clues of his previous visits to the planet and also runs into a number of people who claim to know him as a man named Hauser.
One particular place that Hauser is well known is a bar frequented by Mars' mutated citizens. These people are treated as lower-class and Hauser has apparently not made friends with all of them. When one disfigured tough guy says, "You got a lot of nerve showing your face around here, Hauser." He responds "Look who's talking."
7 "Screw You!"
Even though Total Recall is willing to tell a strange and complex science-fiction story, it never forgets that it is also an Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie. Schwarzenegger gets to go in full action hero mode throughout the movie and he even gets to drop some of his famously corny one-liners.
When Quaid is attacked by Benny, a former ally turned bad, he has to uses creative means to defeat him. Benny tries to run Quaid over in an armored vehicle, so Quaid takes a large industrial drill. Yelling "Screw you!" he drives it through the vehicle and that's the end of Benny.
6 "We Hope You Enjoyed The Ride."
There are plenty of full sci-fi gadgets and toys presented in Total Recall, but certainly the most obnoxious one is the Johnny Cab. Driverless cars have indeed become a thing, but in the future presented in this film, the cabs come with an annoyingly cheerful robot cabbie.
A confused Quaid wakes up in the back of one of these cabs and "Johnny," despite being very happy and polite, provides zero help. Yet even after being ripped out of his driver seat and then blown up in a car wreck, "Johnny" is still only concerned about the customer.
5 "Get Ready For A Surprise!"
Not all the effects in Total Recall hold up now, but it is impressive to see what they were about to accomplish at the time. One of the most memorable scenes involves Quaid attempting to infiltrate the Mars military checkpoints.
We see a largely, oddly dressed woman going through security. When she is questioned, the woman begins acting strange, repeating the same answers over and over. She then suddenly removes her head to reveal it was a robotic disguise for Quaid. He throws the head at one of the guards and the disembodied head of the woman yells "Get ready for a surprise" before exploding.
4 "Baby, You Make Me Wish I Had Three Hands."
Director Paul Verhoeven has had a pretty interesting career, mixing intense dramas with huge action films. He is never afraid to inject some madness into his movies, no matter the scale. And he seems to be having a ball with what he's able to do with a film like this.
When Quaid visits the mutant bar, he meets a lot of interesting characters, but the one who stands out the most is Mary, a prostitute with three breasts. It's a pretty shocking sight, but Benny obviously doesn't mind.
3 "See You At The Party, Richter."
Michael Ironside has made a pretty solid career out of playing the villain, and he gives one of his best tough-guy performances in Total Recall as Richter. The third act throws a twist in the story that Hauser, Quaid's true identity, was working with the bad guys and Richter reveals himself to be an old colleague of his.
As Quaid is about to have his old memory restored, Richter says he'll see him at the party afterward, indicating they'll be old friends again. But Quaid decides to remain the hero and fights back. After fighting Quaid, Ritcher gets his arms crushed in an elevator shaft and then falls to death as Quaid shouts, "See you at the party, Richter."
2 "What If This Is A Dream?"
Given that Total Recall is such a big and exciting action film, it's easy to forget that it is also a bit of a mind-bending adventure. You can get caught up in Schwarzenegger killing bad guys that you forget the movie might be tricking you the entire time.
Near the beginning of the film, Quaid tells the people at Rekall that he wants a simulated adventure where he is a secret agent who saves the day and gets the girl. In the end, that's exactly what happens to him and during the final moments of the movie, he questions if perhaps the whole thing was just a dream created by Rekall.
1 "Consider That A Divorce."
Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been shy about delivering bad one-liners. It has become a signature of his movies and he delivers them so well that they are entertaining despite how bad they may be. One of his best one-liners comes when Quaid is confronted with his treacherous wife.
Lori (Sharon Stone) seemed like a loving wife, but she reveals she is a spy for Cohaagen. Quaid holds her at gunpoint, but she questions if we could really kill his own wife. When Lori pulls a gun on Quaid, he shoots her dead and delivers this perfect killer line.