Henchman of the Week (5/16/01): Helm
Featured In: Total Recall (1990)
Shoes: Made for Runnin'
Glasses: Made for Wimmin'
Most Embarrassing Moment: Outsmarted by rodent
Favorite Online Greeting: Bluemountain Cards
Termination: Gutted by female midget prostitute
Temporary Assignment: Doug Quaid isn't really Doug Quaid, he's Hauser, an associate of Vilos Cohaagen, who has implanted false memories in Hauser's head in an effort to infiltrate the Mutants of Mars and gain the trust of Kuato, the leader, who is attempting to blah blah blah blah... None of this matters to Helm, and why should it? He's a henchman. Like any temp, he doesn't need the full details of any particular job. All he knows is there's a guy he has to chase down and kill.
And chase he does. Following his boss's lead, Helm chases Quaid all over the place, from the Earth to Mars. Helm's boss, Richter, has orders to take Quaid alive, but Richter wants him dead since Quaid has been sleeping with Richter's wife, Lori, who was on assignment to play Quaid's wife, because, well, blah blah blah blah again.
The first time we see Helm, he is using a tracking device to locate Quaid. And then the running begins. Most of Helm's job consists of running. Running up stairs, running down stairs, running through hallways and around corners, his futuristic gun held at the ready. He looks fairly comfortable running, especially next to Richter, who runs with a floppy-armed, bent-wristed gait. They chase Quaid up an escalator and fire at him, but Quaid uses a civilian's body as a shield, then tosses the corpse onto them and escapes by jumping onto a train.
Helm, obviously chummy with his boss, casts aspersions at Lori's sexual relationship with Quaid.
"You're saying she likes it?" Richter asks.
"No," Helm replies with a fairly straight face. "I'm sure she hated every minute of it."
We notice that Helm has odd tastes in eyewear... he appears to be wearing glasses more suited to Palm Beach widows. Large, round, light-purple frames, and yellow-tinted lenses... we almost expect to see Helm clutching a large purse stuffed with expired coupons and accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan.
Helm locates Quaid again through the scanner, though loses him momentarily because Quaid has wrapped a wet towel around his head, which muffles the signal on the tracking device implanted up his nose... yeah, that's really in the movie.
"I lost him!" Helm exclaims.
"Well, find him!" Richter says.
"Yeah, right," Helm says.
(Word is, they improvised that dialogue.)
They leap out of a car to chase Quaid (who has gotten into a cab) on foot. Just an example of management continuing do stick to the plan (in this case, running) even though a more effective solution (driving) has presented itself. Quaid, not surprisingly, gets away, and they track him to the old abandoned (fill in the industrial product) factory, where they run up some stairs and across a bridge. Quaid removes the beacon from his nose and puts it in a candy bar, which he feeds to a rat. Despite the fact that the beacon signal is scurrying around an inch from the floor, Helm is fooled, directing his boss and the others to fire in various directions before Richter figures it out. Sure, Richter shoots the rat, but I think Helm feels the bullets.
They tail Quaid to Mars, where Richter almost kills everyone by destroying an air-tight dome while firing at Quaid. Helm, being sucked out the window, clings to Richter's crotch, nearly pulling his boss out the window with him. Needless to say, Quaid gets away, but is later captured by Lori.
Helm sits with Richter at a bar, both of them sipping futuristic (or girly) drinks, neither of them talking or looking at each other (it's always a mistake for a temp to hang out socially with his supervisor). Lori calls them, and they race to the elevator to wait for her (to Helm's credit, he does not pound the elevator button in an effort to make it arrive faster). Quaid escapes again, shooting Lori in the head in the process. While Richter mopes over his dead wife, Helm runs unsupervised for a bit, which must be a relief. It's hard to run and shoot with your boss looking over your shoulder. He catches up with Quaid, who is climbing along the dome, and wisely holds his fire. Richter and Helm have a little meeting, which begins with Richter pressing his gun into Helm's neck, and ends with Helm reminding Richter that shooting at the dome will cause it to crack. Richter, as a boss, breaks an unspoken rule by actually listening to what his temp has to say, and then they both run off.
Quaid leads them on a car chase, which ends at a local dive. When they arrive, there is no sign of Quaid, so Richter shoots a three-breasted prostitute in the back, then points his gun at a midget hooker. A mushy-headed guy kicks the gun out of Richter's hand, and Helm, trying to protect his boss, puts a round in the mushy-headed guy's shoulder. Helm is restrained by a patron as the midget harlot grabs a knife and sticks it into Helm's belly. He screams from behind his old-lady glasses, and expires.
Performance Review: I feel Helm did a decent job. The position called for running, and he ran. He shot at things and missed. His boss stuck a gun into his neck and he kept his cool. Shame about the glasses, but no one is perfect. And yes, he was fooled by the old Put The Cranial Beacon Inside The Rat Trick, but I think we've all been had by that gag at least once. Besides, I only reviewed him so I could use the phrase "Gutted by female midget prostitute." I mean, how often can a guy use that? Ten, maybe twenty times a year, tops.
Helm was played by Michael Champion, whose last three films were called Operation: Intercept, Raven Hawk, and Maximum Surge. Boy, you know everything you need to about those films from the titles, eh?