“If I’m not me,” puzzles Arnie in Total Recall, “Den who da hell am I?” Alas, he’s not really himself for much of this four-flick boxset. In the unspeakable Red Sonja he comes off as Conan’s less charismatic cousin, engaged in a bad-acting contest – to the death – with talisman-chasing swordswoman Brigitte Nielsen. Cheap, risible and possibly a formative influence on Uwe Boll.
The Austrian Oak’s timber thesping continues in Raw Deal, with a slicked-back Schwarz attempting ‘suave’ while looking like a Kray twin on steroids. The plot – Arnie infiltrates the Chicago Mob – is purely prelude to a one-man-army death-spree to the strains of ‘Satisfaction’. Kills two hours, but it’s no Commando.
Red Heat is a bit more like it, our man playing the Terminator in uniform as a dour Russian rozzer in the States. But it’s unlikely sidekick James Belushi who cracks wisest as director Walter Hill puts a reasonably entertaining post- Glasnost spin on his 48 Hrs. chalk/cheese formula.
Finally, it all comes together in the awesome Total Recall: the killer kiss-offs (“Consider that a divorce!”; “Screw you!”); the tongue-in-cheek ultraviolence; the mega budget. He would’ve been source author Philip K Dick’s 4,786th choice for the memory-wiped Doug Quaid, but showman brutalist Paul Verhoeven gets the best out of him. Director and star also make buoyant yak-buddies on a disc retaining half the extras from the earlier special edition. Little on the other spinners – though Sonja’s lengthy trailer handily allows you to skip the actual film.