There’s nothing quite like listening to a hulking, deep-voiced Austrian narrate a DVD commentary. If you’ve never heard the magnificent audio commentary by future former governor of Cully-Fornia Arnold Schwarzenegger and mad genius Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven on their 1990 blockbuster collaboration Total Recall, then you have no idea what you are missing.
You can watch a sample of the track’s finest moments here below.
The commentary was recorded a decade ago when Total Recall was getting the special edition treatment courtesy of the now defunct Artisan Entertainment (later swallowed up by Lionsgate), and the disc was originally released in a limited edition tin shaped just like the planet Mars. To date it’s one of only two commentaries Schwarzenegger recorded, the other for the Universal Collector’s Edition disc for Conan the Barbarian that also featured writer/director John Milius. Ah-nuld was reportedly paid $10,000 to share his thoughts on the Philip K. Dick-inspired sci-fi adventure that gave the world popping eyeballs, triple-breasted mutant hookers, and the classic line “Get your ass to Mars.” The DVD producers didn’t exactly get their money’s worth.
The track is extremely disappointing given that Verhoeven’s director commentaries on the DVDs for RoboCop and Starship Troopers were also great added value extras packed with sharp insight and amusing production anecdotes. But any intelligence or wit he could have brought to the Total Recall commentary is tossed to the wayside by Schwarzenegger’s obsessive insistence on delivering what is tantamount to a descriptive audio track. Here are some choice nuggets from the Austrian Oak’s Total Recall observations of the on-screen action:
“It was a great scene because she’s trying so hard for me not to see the news.”
“Here, this is my job. I am a construction worker.”
“This is a wonderful scene….uh…where I….uh….come up to Mars as an old lady. As a fat old lady”
I will say no more. Enjoy. Total Recall is also available on Blu-ray.