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Total Recall (1990) Poster

(1990)

Goofs

Continuity 

After the escalator shootout, Richter steps off the escalator, landing his foot next to the dead body of one of his goons. In the next shot, the same foot lands squarely on the goon's chest.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

While Doug writes Melina's name on a piece of paper, the sound of the writing isn't in sync with the hand movement.

Continuity 

Quaid touches walls, switches on lights and grabs Lori's arms to explain that he is being hunted by spies, then shows his blood-covered hands to her, yet there is no blood on her arms or the walls.
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After the fight at the construction site, Quaid rushes home. When he is turning off the lights, he flicks off individual switches, yet while fighting with Lori, he flicks on one light switch to see who he's fighting, and the room becomes completely lit.
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When Richter and Helm are waiting by the hotel's service elevator for Lori to bring Quaid down and realize something is wrong, they run over to a normal elevator and go up, yet they end up coming out the service elevator on the 6th floor.
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When Quaid turns on the hologram projector for the first time and swings his gun around, the hand holding the watch is extended when his hologram's hand is at chest level.
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When Quaid steals the Johnny Cab he rips out the robot driving it and places it in the back seat facing down, but when the robot speaks as Quaid drives away it is facing up.
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When Quade first meets Melina at The Last Resort, she takes him upstairs and after she closes the door, she smacks him across the face hard. Her pendant is jostled, but in the next shot just before she hugs him, the pendant is stuck in her hair.
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During Quaid's fight with Lori in the apartment, Lori slashes Quaid in the chest with a knife. After the fight, the cut marks on his shirt are mysteriously gone.
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When Quaid is about to step into the taxi of Benny, there is a big explosion. In the closeup you see Benny closing the door. Then you see the wide screen and again see Benny closing the taxi door.
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During the fight on the elevator, Quaid breaks Richter's arm, yet he is able to pull himself back up onto the elevator and hold on without any sign of pain.
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When Richter and the soldiers ambush Quaid in the reactor, you can see one soldier firing a shotgun over Richter's shoulder in the shot of him firing and grinning. In the next shot of him, we see the soldier getting into position and shooting over his shoulder.
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During the escalator shootout, Quaid uses a bystander's body as a bullet shield and the body is shot to pieces; Quaid then throws the very bloody body onto Richter and his henchmen to slow them down. Moments later, as Richter and his henchmen chase Quaid into the train station, it is obvious that they haven't a drop of blood on them, despite the fact that the bloody corpse landed right on top of them.
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During the cab chase through the tunnels on Mars, Quaid shoots Richter's gun from his hand. Richter then reaches down and picks up a large shotgun. However, he wasn't carrying this weapon when he entered the cab and it's highly unlikely he just found it on the seat.
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At Rekall, when Dr. Lull is questioning him about his dream girl, Quaid's request of "sleazy" and "demure" are highlighted on the monitor before he says them.
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The piece of the chocolate bar that Quaid hides the tracking bug in changes size after it is picked up by the rats.

Crew or equipment visible 

Person's head visible behind bed during first sex scene.
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Before Quaid opens the "Johnny-Cab" to escape Richter and his assistant Helm, you can see - in the 4:3 version - the tracks of the camera dolly.
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Errors in geography 

The two moons of Mars appear in several background shots, but they are incorrectly depicted. They are both shown as being much larger than they would appear in real life - Phobos would appear to be about a third of the size of the moon, and Deimos as little larger than a star. In addition, Phobos revolves around Mars faster than Mars rotates, so it would appear to rise in the west and set in the east, and should have moved visibly with respect to Deimos even from one shot to the next. The two moons are always shown in the same relative positions, however.

Factual errors 

The first name of the author of the original story (Philip K. Dick) is misspelled as "Phillip" in the credits.
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The Martian Surface is mostly extremely cold (around -80 degrees Farenheit). So anybody unfortunate to venture outside without a space suit would basically freeze on contact.
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The exterior shots of Mars depicts the Martian sky as having either a dark orange or deep crimson color to it. In reality, the Martian sky is not as deeply colored, and actually a light pink or light orange color at times. Furthermore, the night sky on Mars is shown to be just a slightly darker red/orange than the day sky, when in reality the Martian night sky is just as black/starry as it appears on Earth.

Plot holes 

When Hauser/Quaid returns to Mars, some of the people that knew him before as Hauser call him Quaid.
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Revealing mistakes 

The security guards wear some kind of portable computer (display and keyboard) on their wrist. During the fight at customs, a close-up reveals that it's just a Sharp pocket calculator taped to a glove.
Stuntman's face is visible when Quaid jumps onto the subway car after breaking the window.
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When Harry turns off his jackhammer (Quaid is talking to him), he makes the motion of flipping a switch on the back of the tool to stop it, but there is no switch. The back of the tool is smooth.
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When Richter is shooting at Quaid from the top of the escalator he uses a human shield then turns and throws the body at the goons on the escalator below him you can see the stuntman's eyes open and face cringe as he flies through the air.
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After Quaid arrives on Mars for the first time and the outer dome is shattered and people are hanging horizontal from the supposed "pressure" release, the customs clerk who hits the button to seal the "airlock" is hanging on to a platform that is not anchored down, and wobbles as he grabs onto it.
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When Quaid is in the slum hotel room, the phone in the room starts to ring. The person on the other line is a 'buddy' of his from the agency on Mars who says that he was suppose to find him Doug if he ever disappears. After Doug wraps a towel around his head to muffle the bug signal, the friend tells him to go to the window to see a suitcase that was going to leave for Quaid. The 'friend' on the visual phone looks up to the right as though he's looking up to Quaid in the hotel room. In fact, Quaid's 'friend' has to turn to the left and look up, not right as shown on the videophone.
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When Lori attacks Quaid in their house, the fake knife bends and its obviously made out of rubber.
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When Richter shoots the glass dome, Quaid grabs hold of the handrail. In the close up of Quaid, visible wires are attached to Quaid's body.
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When Quaid and Richter are fighting on the elevator, Quaid throws Richter into the back of the elevator and it wobbles, revealing it's made of soft material.
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Towards the end when Quaid is using his holographic watch to fool the guards who have surrounded him on the catwalk, they begin shooting through his "holographic" image but no-one gets hit on the other side, even though they are only a few feet away.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Quaid is drilling into the oil pipe to try and stop Benny from killing them, the line breaks and oil squirts all over Quaid's face, but in the next shot his face has no oil on it.
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Continuity 

During the fight at "The Last Resort", Thumbelina stabs Helm in the stomach. When the camera pans out, the knife and blood are coming out of his chest (originally, Helm was supposed to be gutted from crotch to sternum, but was edited out for the R-Rating).
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Continuity 

When Douglas Quaid is attacked by his workmates in the subway one of them appears, in some shots, with his face stained with blood but no stains are visible in other shots.
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Continuity 

When Quaid and Milena are suffocating and decompressing on the surface, the atmosphere cloud hits them. It can clearly be seen that, as the air hits them, they appear quite normal. However, in the next shot, they are swollen again and their eyes are bulging.
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Continuity 

Just as Quaid and Melina are about the be crushed by Benny's ore driller, the machines drill bits rips into Quaid's right arm and Melina's left arm. Afterwards, for the rest of the movie, though their shirts are shredded, their arms are unbloodied.
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Continuity 

When the hologram of Quaid gets shot in the reactor both the hologram and the real Qauid are holding the gun with the same hand even though the hologram is a mirrored image of the original
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Continuity 

After Lori has been shot dead, her head is leaning to the left and the blood has started seeping. Melina flips her over to the other side, so her head is leaning to the right. When Richter turns her head forwards the blood is seeping from the right, with no blood stain on the opposite side.
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Factual errors 

During the final scene, the alien reactor begins pumping out oxygen, providing a stable atmosphere within minutes. It would take far longer to pump out enough oxygen to cover the planet, and for as long as that is happening, the entire area around the reactor would be subject to hurricane-force winds.
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Factual errors 

The gravity on Mars is 0.38 of Earth's gravity, but in all Mars scenes people are moving about as if they were in an Earth-gravity environment. Within buildings, this could simply be the result of artificial gravity created by future technology, but as Cohaagen, Quaid and Melina are ejected onto the surface of Mars, it is clear that they fall and land as they would on Earth.
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Factual errors 

The actual "ballooning" of the body while exposed to depressurization and lack of air won't take place on Mars as the planet itself has enough pressurization to prevent any "ballooning" of the human body.

Revealing mistakes 

The stone wall that Quaid slams two of Harry's goons into visibly shakes.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Richter is falling from the lift after having his arms ripped off, you can see the bulge under his shirt where his real arm(s) are tucked underneath.
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Revealing mistakes 

During the reactor elevator scene when Richter's arms are disembodied and he falls down, Quaid holds the remaining arms and says "See you at the party Richter!". When he throws the arms off the elevator in the far shot, you see the arms fall behind the platform of the elevator, but however you do not see them fall past the platform and instead just disappear.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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