The Prophecy of Total Recall

Let’s get something out of the way first and foremost. The title and the inspiration for this blog came from a conversation with my pal, @craigsorrell. If I don’t acknowledge that off the bat, I’ll get an earful.

Total Recall, released in 1990, is not a particularly good film. To be sure, it’s got cheesy nostalgic appeal; there was a young kesseljunkie many years ago who saw the film in the theater and loved it.

He loved it so much he wanted to go right back in the theater and see it a second time. I know that he saw it more than once in the theater, because back then it was a lot cheaper to go to the movies and if something was mediocre it was still a cheaper option than anything else, so long as you didn’t get popcorn.

(That young kesseljunkie also had a friend who immediately pointed out that the physics of the atmosphere wouldn’t blah blah blah something something oxygen who cares yes we know and do not care.)

But part of growing up is being able to be honest with yourself about the things you once loved, and their place in your life. It’s OK to change and have your opinions or tastes change. It happens! Anyone who thinks they have it all figured by the time they hit their twenties is an idiot, a cult member, or both.

But what I’m talking about this time is the eerie prophetic quality of one scene in particular.

Two Weeks Total Recall GIF | kesseljunkie
You hear the voice in your head every time. EVERY TIME.


If you haven’t seen the movie, there’s a scene where a woman is going through customs on Mars and she declares she’s going to be there for two weeks. She then starts repeating “TWO WEEKS” with more and more fervor, pulling at her own lips as if her body has betrayed her.

As her breakdown continues, repeatedly saying “TWO WEEKS,” she backs away into the wall. You then find the real surprise: it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in disguise! It’s not as satisfying as a Lando in disguise, but we make do.

But what I was discussing with my pal was, in this time we’re living everything is measured in TWO WEEKS. We just have to wait TWO WEEKS to see the latest doomsday predictions come to pass. We just have to wait TWO WEEKS to find out if that stuff about the thing is true. We’ll see in TWO WEEKS if Ghislaine Maxwell didn’t kill herself.

So I ventured an idea. What if Total Recall was at least partly written by someone who traveled from the future and was just screwing with us because TWO WEEKS would be a permanent GIF in usage and people would keep discussing and watching Total Recall.

I’m going to investigate this possibility and get back to you with what I find out.


This is from my personal Special Edition of the movie.