Psychotically Bad Acting

I am teaching one of my religion and film classes this May on Jesus at the Movies, and brushing up on my general film and Bible materials, I came across this gem of a reading of Philip K. Dick, the film Total Recall, and Paul (the one in the New Testament) by Roland Boer.  Noting how great a fit Arnold Schwarzenegger is for the role, he writes:

In other words, the success of the film – as psychotic – relies precisely on Scharzenegger’s inability to act: his lack of ability, his woodenness, the dreadful delivery of lines, the comical effort to express emotion, makes him peculiarly appropriate for such a film.

Roland Boer, “Non-Sense: Totall Recall, Paul, and the Possibility of Psychosis,” in Screening Scripture: Intertextual Connections between Scripture and Film, eds. George Aichele and Richard Walsh (Trinity Press International, 2002) 147.


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