THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 33: Total Recall (1990) vs Total Recall (2012)

Welcome to The SciFi Podcasta wretched hive of scum and villainy a bi-weekly podcast focused on in-depth discussion of all things science fiction. The SciFi Podcast features four hosts—Mattroid, Solo, Brain, and Station!—and frequent guests. Each episode we look at a science fiction theme or franchise and take the discussion where no show has gone before.

On this episode, artist, podcaster, tattoo-guru and bearded beauty Shaun Kyle of The Namor Podcast joins in the discussion, bringing laughs, thrilling insights, and all the three-boob talk to shake a nip at. It’s wonderful, but what does the gang talk about and review on this episode? Keep reading!

Would you like to visit Mars? Would you like a ride in a Johnny Cab? Would you like to live the life of a spy for a day? If Kate Beckinsale came to kick you in the nuts, would you let her in? These are important questions to consider; one set will whisk you back to 1990, and into space; the other will shove you face-first into a dreary and dystopian existence. Which do you prefer? Which do you recall? Let us know in the comments section.

Theme music courtesy of I Hear Sirens, featuring Matt on bass and Liz on keyboard. Hear more of I Hear Sirens ethereal, instrumental, post-rock at BandCamp. Hear special guest Shaun Kyle entertain the masses on his Podcast, where it’s all things hilarious, and all things Namor, the First Mutant.

Podcast production and artwork by Mattroid.

9 thoughts on “THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 33: Total Recall (1990) vs Total Recall (2012)

  1. Interesting tidbit about there not being very many memorable Arnold zingers from the first Total Recall. “Consider that a divorce!” and “Get your ass to Mars!” more or less covers it.

    I’m a little surprised by all the negativity about the 2012 Total Recall. Maybe it’s only because I didn’t see it with my dad when I was 12, but I’ve always felt the 1990 flick was more of a solid B-movie than a masterpiece. A fun, often goofy, sometimes clever action movie with a futuristic setting. The 2012 Recall is also an enjoyable B-movie that holds up well by comparison, and (I think) is even measurably better in a few modest particulars. Such as Kate Beckinsale being a better actress and generally more intriguing presence than Sharon Stone. And while Colin Farrell isn’t as enjoyably larger-than-life as the Austrian Oak, that also makes his performance seem a little more grounded and a little less cartoonish.

    For me, TR-1990 is the least interesting of the handful of Paul Verhoeven’s films that I’ve seen, except maybe for the largely boring Hollow Man. I’ve never seen anything else of Wiseman’s, but TR-2012 is nowhere near as bad as Lenny W’s reputation from the Underworld flicks and Live Free or Die Hard led me to expect. Maybe TR-2012 just caught me in a good mood: I’ve only seen it once (to write a review for the Daily Herald back in the day), whereas I’ve seen TR-1990 a couple of times, and it lost a little ground upon rewatch.

      • Either that, or maybe I’m smoking something. 🙂 One thing I agree with the gang about: The TR-2012 action scenes are sometimes fun at least conceptually (I actually recall enjoying the hovercar chases), but Wiseman, like just about everyone else who’s shot an action scene in the last 10 years or so, doesn’t care a lick whether the viewer understands or can follow along from one beat to the next. Most working directors are mortally convinced that, as long as a fight, or a chase, or whatever it is, happens super fast, with the camera hopping around like a caffeinated squirrel, then the audience will be too gee-willikered to care about whatever the hell they’re seeing.

        • Oddly enough, I really like the first Underworld. I don’t care much for the mid-2000s steely-blue filter on everything (which seemed to replace the overly contrasted orange/blue look of the late 90s/early 2000s), and it’s not a good movie, per se, but it’s kind of fun. I like Scott Speedman because of Felicity, and Kate Beckinsale as a vampire is awesome because duh.

          But I just can’t believe you like the remake of TR. Another listener/guest Ryan thinks the remake is great, and I just can’t figure it out. Two great guys, one massively flawed opinion. Huh.

    • I feel like Total Recall is a solid B-movie on the surface and a masterpiece of existential science fiction underneath that. To me the goofiness and cartoonish elements are wonderful and lend it all the charm that the innocuous remake lacks but the actual ideas at play beneath the violence and triple-nipples and the way those ideas are executed pushes it into masterpiece territory for me. I think it’s a very clever and interesting sci-fi film masquerading as a very dumb but entertaining action movie.

  2. As someone who has seen neither Total Recall films, after listening to this podcast, I take it I should avoid the original and re-watch the classic remake? Gotcha *insert thumbs up*

    In some non-Total Recall news, I finally got back to watching some Buffy after watching uhh…four episodes in late 2015. I’m currently midway in season 2 and it’s so much better than the first season. The first season was just okay, but the show has really found it’s stride with season 2. Spike is a total bad ass and not only is he far better than any villain from the first season, he’s my favorite character thus far. Cordelia having a larger role and interacting with Buffy & Pals also brings a lot of fun to the show.

    • Paging Dr. Ststion! to the Buffy room…

      I’m soooo happy you’re watching. It only gets better; season 3 hooked me for good. And yes, we all love Spike. So, so much. The dude himself, James Marsters, has been so kind and friendly to us when we’ve met and/or interviewed him, and is so different than his bleached counterpart Spike.

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