MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 155 this week

Better Off Dead... (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  11 October 1985 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 30,894 users  
Reviews: 174 user | 40 critic

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

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 18 Feb 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 11 Nov 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 04 Jan 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 21 Feb 2014
 
a list of 46 titles
created 26 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Better Off Dead... (1985)

Better Off Dead... (1985) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Better Off Dead....

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An aspiring teenage cartoonist and his friends come to the aid of a singer trying to save her family property from developers.

Director: Savage Steve Holland
Stars: John Cusack, Demi Moore, Linda Warren
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A college student plans a cross-country trip to get laid, but ends up traveling with a young woman. They hate each other, so naturally...

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Anthony Edwards
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young girl's "sweet sixteenth" birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry
Class (1983)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young boy spends one crazy night out, but soon realizes the woman he hooked up with is his roommate's mother.

Director: Lewis John Carlino
Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Director: George Armitage
Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd
Hot Pursuit (1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Young Danny is following his rich girlfriend's family to the Caribbean. But suddenly he simply must take a chemistry test and cannot go with them. After they have left, he gets a leave from... See full summary »

Director: Steven Lisberger
Stars: John Cusack, Robert Loggia, Jerry Stiller
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Life in the small town of Grandview, Illinois is one that is just like any other city or town. Tim Pearson, soon to be graduating high school wants to go to Florida to study oceanography. ... See full summary »

Director: Randal Kleiser
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young tomboy, Watts, finds her feelings for her best friend, Keith, run deeper than just friendship when he gets a date with the most popular girl in school. Unfortunately, the girl's old... See full summary »

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson
Real Genius (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret, Michelle Meyrink
High Fidelity (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nerdy outcast secretly pays the most popular girl in school one thousand dollars to be his girlfriend.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, Courtney Gains
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jenny Meyer
...
Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens ...
Badger Meyer
...
...
Mrs. Smith
...
Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)
...
Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada ...
Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell ...
Rocko
...
Beth Truss
...
Aaron Dozier ...
Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon ...
Roy's Ski Buddy #1
Edit

Storyline

Lane Meyer is a depressed teen who loses his girlfriend Beth. Her given reason for breaking up is: "Lane, I think it'd be in my best interest if I dated somebody more popular. Better looking. Drives a nicer car." Anyway, poor Lane is left alone and thinks up treacherous ways of killing himself. He finally meets a French beauty called Monique and falls for her. Simultaneously, he must endure his mother's terrible cooking which literally slides off the table and his disgusting next door neighbour Ricky (and his mum) while he prepares for the skiing race of his life - to get his old girlfriend back! Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Better Off Dead  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The DVD sleeve notes declare that "writer/director Savage Steve Holland says Better Off Dead... (1985) is semi-autobiographical. After his high school love ditched him, he picked up an 8-millimeter camera and made some depressing movies that had the exact opposite on his friends - they laughed". These couple of 8mm short films then got screened on the film festival circuit upon which Holland decided to develop the story ideas from these shorts into a feature-length screenplay for Better Off Dead... (1985). See more »

Goofs

When Lane's father is reading the book on teenage drug use, the camera focuses in on the headline of the chapter: "Paranoia". The first two lines of the chapter are visible & are obviously "Greeked" or made-up nonsense text. See more »

Quotes

Lane Myer: Johnny...
Johnny: Four weeks, twenty papers, that's two dollars. Plus tip.
Lane Myer: Gee Johnny, I don't have a dime.
Johnny: Didn't ask for a dime. Two dollars.
Lane Myer: Well... it's funny see... my mom, had to leave early to take my brother to school and my dad to work cuz...
Johnny: ...two dollars... cash.
Lane Myer: See... the problem here is that... my little brother, this morning, got his arm caught in the microwave, and uh... my grandmother dropped acid and she freaked out, and hijacked a school bus full of... penguins, so it's kind of a ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

When Lane and Monique are at Dodgers Stadium sitting on his Camaro, the camera pulls away to a long shot. The paperboy (I want my two dollars!) can be seen riding across the baseball field towards them. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Rocky (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Arrested By You
Music by Rupert Hine
Lyrics by Torrence Merdur
Performed by Rupert Hine
Produced by Rupert Hine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The ultimate teen angst flick!
23 August 2005 | by (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States) – See all my reviews

If there was ever a role that John Cusack milked until it mooed, this one would have to have been it. His portrayal of Lane Meyer will forever be remembered in high school lore as the Ultimate Champion of the Underdog. I laughed so hard my sides ached and tears were running down my cheeks. What has long been a cult classic, this film did an excellent job of portraying the awkwardness of those teenage years that all adults thank God every day that we now have behind us. "Savage" Steve Holland's directorial debut was simply sensational; he could not have picked a better vehicle in which to make his mark!

Rounding out the cast includes Amanda Wyss as the fickle girlfriend who is more interested in her popularity than anything else; David Ogden Stiers (Major Winchester from M*A*S*H fame) as the dad who tries too hard to be "in", Kim Darby is priceless here as the mother who is completely, absolutely and utterly clueless, Scooter Stevens as Lane's little brother Badger is one ongoing surprise after another, and what is probably going to go down as BY FAR the most coveted film role in the 20th century, Demian Slade plays the paperboy from Hell. His portrayal alone makes the film not only worth watching, but worth buying! To close matters off in the casting department, the chemistry between Cusack and Diane Franklin – who plays the French foreign exchange student Monique Junot, is something that simply cannot be denied. Keep in mind however, that whatever you do – that like The Cable Guy – DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT take your eyes off that paperboy!

Cusack and Holland do a perfect job of capturing that period of time in the 1980's better than any other film of the period. This film is well worth an evening's entertainment. Rent it once, and then buy it, as you will want to watch it many times over. It took me SEVEN YEARS to find a copy in VHS. The DVD was just bought for $10.00 and change from from Wal-Mart.com. I highly recommend this film to one and all as a MUST-OWN!

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this film a 12/10. ***


48 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone know were I can try to locate a copy of 'Better Off Dead' jet_blanchard
John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
Other Definitive 80's Comedies barrerarama
Favorite 80's blond bully - nemesis? ohlou326
who else thought Beth was a bit** glean7
Better Off Dead with Forgotten Flix Danish_Delight
Discuss Better Off Dead... (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?