Where Was Total Recall Filmed? Arnold’s Gripping Sci Fi Adventure Flick From 1990!!


Have you seen the sci-fi adventure film, Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger? Do you know where was Total Recall filmed? If not, then follow this article to everything about this super-entertaining film and its filming locations.

The American intense action film, Total Recall released in 1990 was inspired from a short story by Phillip Kindred, published a couple of years prior to the movie. This engaging action thriller film was directed by Paul Verhoeven, who reportedly worked alongside other screenwriters, to develop a captivating story. 

The basic premise of Total Recall revolves around the character of Douglas Quaid, a diligent worker of a construction company, whose past memories were suppressed. The plot thickens, when the lead actor finally gains consciousness of his actual identity and recalls his lost memory.

Total Recall was a huge commercial success. This film went on to gross over $261 million at the box office, against a nominal production budget. Total Recall received 16 nominations, including 2 at the Oscars, and won 7 prestigious awards in total. The critics acclaimed the performances of Arnold and Sharon Stone in the lead roles, apart from reviewing the overall story positively.

So, before I discuss the plot of this action thriller film in brief, let’s explore where was Total Recall filmed. So that you can take a closer look at the filming locations of this intriguing film.

Where Was Total Recall Filmed? Let’s Know This Action Thriller Film Closely!

The makers of Total Recall wanted to shoot the entire film in America, all along. However, after the potential filming locations were discussed with Paul, he wanted to shoot a few sequences in Mexico.

The production members were then sent to Mexico and were asked to scout for ideal filming locations in and around Mexico City. So, after the shooting locations in Mexico were finalized, the director arrived at the final conclusion, to shoot the majority of the film there. Although, a few sequences were later captured in various locations in Nevada as well.

The principal photography began in the third week of March 1989 and continued till the second week of September, of the same year. The filming schedule was delayed for a number of production issues that we’d further discuss. But, apart from that the production members did not face any major challenges while filming in Mexico or Nevada. 

So, without waiting any longer, let’s have a detailed discussion about where was Total Recall filmed, and find out more about the actual filming spots.

Mexico City | Mexico

Where Was Total Recall Filmed? Arnold’s Gripping Sci Fi Adventure Flick From 1990!!

The opening sequence of the movie, where we see the character of Douglas Quaid for the first time, was actually filmed in Mexico City. The production members used a small-sized apartment located near Heroico Colegio Militar to shoot the interior sequences of Quaid’s abode. 

Important to mention that, the production members also had to turn around the overall decor of the apartment, to match the requirement of the director. Paul wanted to give a futuristic look to Douglas’ apartment, thus he categorically asked the crew to place certain fixtures in the background.

The exhilarating sequence of the shootout was captured inside a real metro station situated near Metro Chabacano at San Antonio Abad. The production members had to acquire special shooting permission from the Mexican government, before filming inside the real metro station.

Other pivotal sequences in Mexico City were captured inside a famous and well-equipped studio. The Estudios Churubusco located at C Atletas 2, Country Club Churubusco was used to shoot the remaining interior sequences of the film. In fact, the majority of the sequences depicting the scenes of Mars were also filmed here and later morphed.

Filming in Mexico City lasted till the second week of August 1989, after which the production members returned back to America.

Nevada | USA

So, after filming the majority of the sequences in and around Mexico City, the production members were all prepared to return to America. But, while in transit, the logistics required for shooting went missing. 

Another week and a half were spent retrieving the lost items, and then finally the crew arrived in Nevada, to capture the final sequence of the film. The Valley of Fire State Park located at Route 169 Overton, Nevada was used to capturing the ending sequence of the movie. 

The scenes depicting the arid and red landscape of Mars were also filmed here. Shooting in Nevada continued till the second week of September 1989, after which the crew began working on post-production.

Alright friends, let’s discuss the plot of Total Recall in brief. So that you can get a better grip on the storyline of this exciting film. Meanwhile, you can check out Candy, The Notebook and White Noise as well.

Plot Of Total Recall | What’s It About

Where Was Total Recall Filmed? Arnold’s Gripping Sci Fi Adventure Flick From 1990!!

The basic premise of Total Recall is centered around the character of Douglas Quaid, a hardworking builder of a construction site. At the beginning of the movie, the lead actor is shown to suffer from insomnia, due to recurring flashbacks of his past.

As the story gradually progresses, Douglas slowly reaches his conscious state and finds out about his real identity. The lead actor then reminisces about his past life on Mars and decides to confront Cohaagen, who forcibly suppressed his memory. Watch Total Recall to find out what happens when Douglas eventually strikes back!

Final Words

Ok friends, so now that we’ve reached the end, I hope now you finally know where was Total Recall filmed. If you enjoyed the read, do let us know in the comments section below. To read similar pieces, you can check out other articles on Viebly as well.

Who Are The Cast Members Of The Film Total Recall?

The cast of the film Total Recall includes Arnold Schwarzebegger, Rachel Tictoin, Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside along with some others.

Who Is The Cinematographer Of The Film Total Recall?

Jost Vacano is the cinematographer of the film Total Recall.

What Is The Rating Of The Film Total Recall?

The film Total Recall has an R rating.

Who Is The Music Director Of The Film Total Recall?

Jerry Goldsmith is the music director of the film Total Recall.

What Is The Runtime Of The Film Total Recall?

1h 53m is the runtime of the film Total Recall

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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