In the second half of 1980 Arnie was fortunate to meet director Paul Verhoeven, who by that time had become famous for his movie “Robocop.” The two men began working on the movie, which later went down in history.Shooting of “Total Recall” had at that time one of the highest budgets. Much more expensive was only released a year later, “Terminator 2”. It is understandable, because after the “Total Recall” Arnold Schwarzenegger has secured the star title.
According to Verhoeven, Total Recall is one of the first films to use digital effects–by MetroLight Studios–for the x-ray sequences.
The opening scene was shot in Churubusco, (Mexico City). Because there was no money left for these scenes shot at the end of filming, everything (aside from the people) is special effects. It was done on blue screen, on a stage about as big as a basketball court.
Bulging-eyed Arnold was a puppet, as was the Arnold at the very end of the scene in which Quaid removes a tracking device from his nose (for which ten puppeteers were required). Verhoeven remarked that today digital effects would have been used, but they didn’t have them at the time. The puppets were created by Rob Bottin and his Effects Crew (King Kong , Se7en, The Fog, The Thing , Legend, The Howling, Mimic).
Near the Mexican capital they built huge scenery outside the reactor, and for scenes in the subway station they used local subway. Filmmakers had to rent a warehouse of 2000 square meters – studios just did not have the space to store a huge amount of landscape layouts.
Almost all fantastic Martian landscapes have been recreated in a miniature with the help of NASA specialists . To install certain layouts they spend several days. Strictly speaking, the models were made for everything that we see on the screen (trains, cars, spacecraft, oxygen reactor). In some cases, had to make a few tiny samples of the same things.
The cars were designed by Conceptual Artist Ron Cobb (Alien, Aliens, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Abyss, “Firefly, Amazing Stories”) and the robots by Rob Bottin.
The Kuato puppet was built on Marshall Bell, a process which took five to six hours and left Bell unable to use the bathroom while it was attached. Each of Kuato’s movements was handled by different puppeteers.
Threebreast prostitute became almost the hallmark of the movie. All three breasts are fake. They had to make a hollow foam prosthesis filled with water bags and make-up artists disguised under the skin color.
Mask of woman which arrived on Mars began to unpack? There are no computer effects – this is a real doll with a hidden mechanism . Today, this can be much less expensive to implement with the help of digital technology.
A remake is in the works with Director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) at the helm, starring Colin Farrell as Quaid/Hauser, Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen, Jon Cho as McClane, Kate Beckinsdale as Lori, Jessica Biel as Melina and Bill Nighy as Kuato.