7.2/10
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189 user 41 critic

Better Off Dead... (1985)

A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.
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3,004 ( 395)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Demian Slade ...
Scooter Stevens ...
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Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)
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Brian Imada ...
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Aaron Dozier ...
Frank Burt Avalon ...
Roy's Ski Buddy #1
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Storyline

The teenager Lane Meyer has a crush on his girlfriend Beth Truss. When Beth dumps him to stay with the successful skier Roy Stalin, Lane is depressed and decides to commit suicide. However he gives up and tries to improve his skill of skier to ski the dangerous K12 slope to impress Beth. Meanwhile his neighbor Mrs. Smith receives the exchange French student Monique Junot and her fat son Ricky Smith considers Monique his girlfriend; however, Monique has an unrequited crush on Lane that does not note her. When Lane stumbles upon Monique in a high-school party, he befriends her. The upset Lane challenges Roy in a competition on the K12 slope but then he regrets. However Monique is a great mechanic and skier, and fix Lane's Camaro and teaches him how to ski the K12 slope. What will happen to Lane? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Teenage life has never been darker...or funnier... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Better Off Dead  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$56,371, 25 August 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,297,601

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,297,601, 31 December 1985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a promo for the movie, Diane Franklin had her manager contact the Dodgers Stadium to see if they'd be interested in having her do an autograph signing. "I just kind of thought it would be fun for people, because if they saw the movie, and I was at Dodger Stadium-it would kind of be a fun venue for everyone to come and see me there," she said. The ballpark said no to a signing but asked her to sing the anthem. "What was unusual about that, was when they introduced me, I thought they were going to say, 'And here's Diane Franklin from Better Off Dead,' or, 'Here's Diane Franklin from Bill & Ted' or something. And they wound up saying, 'And here's Diane Franklin.' And I'm thinking, 'Who knows Diane Franklin?' Nobody knows who I am.' It was so funny." See more »

Goofs

When Lane and Monique roll up to the Ree brothers (and their dates) in the Camero and as soon as they realize he's there, they scramble to put helmets on. The female riding shotgun puts her helmet on backwards covering her eyes, then adjusts it so that she can see. It remains on backwards until she takes it off to hit the driver with it. See more »

Quotes

[Lane waves to two tree trimmers from the cargo hold of a garbage truck]
Tree Trimmer: [to fellow tree trimmer] Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, Badger's home-built space shuttle launches through the roof of the garage and soars into the night sky. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Workaholics: Trivia Pursuits (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Foxy Lady
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
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User Reviews

 
Blurred Realities
15 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

Ahhhh...an actual dark comedy. I watched this again, to clear my mind of "Wilbur..."

What makes this a cut above is the composition of sight gags -- 'How to build a space shuttle out of household items' is in the foreground, and then the eye pulls back to reveal the mother battling a sea monster in a pot, which frustrates her attempt to cook it...Cusack frets over an impossibly broken binding, and in the same frame the 'paperboy from hell' appears on a weatherized delivery bicycle...it's priceless stuff.

The story is told visually, you see...this has less to do with dialogue (although what there is of it, is classic), than with the idea of the writer's imagination conflated with movie imagination conflated with movie 'reality'. We see Holland seeing Cusack seeing the situations somewhere in between Holland's imagination and the platform of the movie (high school role playing - already a confused reality). At key points, Holland literally invents characters on paper or in stop motion animation to further warp that perception. These realities continually blur with 'real' reality, and the sheer absurdity keeps it seamless.

Some impressive camera work during the skiing portions.

This is capable film-making that can be enjoyed as what it was meant to be.


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