Better Off Dead (1985) USA
Better Off Dead Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Savage Steve Holland
Producer:Rupert Hine, Gil Friesen, Michael Jaffe, Andrew Meyer
Writer:Savage Steve Holland
Date Added:2006-03-27
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Sound:Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Languages:English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Savage Steve Holland  ...  (Director)
Savage Steve Holland  ...  (Writer)
John Cusack  ...  Lane Meyer
David Ogden Stiers  ...  Al Meyer
Kim Darby  ...  Jenny Meyer
Demian Slade  ...  Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens  ...  Badger Meyer
Diane Franklin  ...  Monique Junot
Laura Waterbury  ...  Mrs. Smith
Dan Schneider  ...  Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)
Yuji Okumoto  ...  Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada  ...  Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell  ...  Rocko
Amanda Wyss  ...  Beth Truss
Curtis Armstrong  ...  Charles De Mar
Aaron Dozier  ...  Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon  ...  Roy's Ski Buddy #1
Comments: You've blown up your neighbor's mom. Your seven-year-old brother has better luck with women than you do. Your girlfriend has a new boyfriend. Relax, you're never...

Summary: Lane Myer (John Cusack) is stuck in a personal hell. A compulsive, adolescent Everyman growing up in Suburbia, USA, not only does he fail to make the prestigious high school ski team (again), but his beloved sweetheart, Beth, also leaves him for Roy, the team's popular, arrogant captain. If this isn't bad enough, he's stuck with a mother who frighteningly experiments--rather than cooks--with food, a brother who builds rockets out of models, and a best friend so desperate for drugs that he settles for snorting powdered snow. Faced with these prospects, Lane opts to end it all ... until he comes up with a ridiculous plan to gain acceptance and win Beth back. Director Savage Steve Holland warps this simple, clich├ęd premise, letting his wacky imagination twist it into a fairly original, slightly dark, and completely hilarious '80s teen comedy. Not as serious a "suicide-attempt" movie as, say, Harold and Maude but just as funny, the film's more a collection of screwball sketches than a narrative. Holland livens the high jinks with surrealistic fantasy touches, including Jell-O that crawls, a hamburger that sings Van Halen, drawings that mock its creator, Japanese race-car drivers who only speak Howard Cosell, and a psychotic paperboy seeking blood over a missing $2. Cusack puts the whole thing on his shoulders and carries the insanity with another one of his touching, obsessively romantic performances, which, along with Say Anything, The Sure Thing, and One Crazy Summer, made him the quintessential (and appealing) personification of lovestruck adolescence and suffering. --Dave McCoy