MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 662 this week

Better Off Dead... (1985)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 29,314 users  
Reviews: 171 user | 39 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

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 24 Apr 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 11 Dec 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 46 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 4 months ago
 

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
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
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
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 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
Class (1983)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Jonathan, a naive country boy, gets a scholarship to a classy prep school, where he rooms with suave, rich and handsome Skip. Skip decides it is his duty to see that Jonathan loses his ... See full summary »

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

Jimmy Muir is a hard-drinking brewery worker in the city of Sheffield, with an arrogant lack of respect for authority. His entire life has been orientated by football and he possesses the ... See full summary »

Director: Maria Giese
Stars: Sean Bean, Emily Lloyd, Pete Postlethwaite
Tapeheads (1988)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A couple of creative losers accidently become big shots in the video music industry.

Director: Bill Fishman
Stars: John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Mary Crosby
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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
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:

Insanity doesn't run in the family, it gallops. 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

During the Christmas presents scene at Lane's house we see a large toy robot. It is Twiki from the TV show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Ricky is holding his doll next to Monique on Christmas morning, the doll jumps around between shots. See more »

Quotes

Paperboy: Two dollars!
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 »


Soundtracks

She's Gone
Written by Daryl Hall and John Oates
Performed by Hall & Oates
Produced by Arif Mardin
Courtesy of RCA Records
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 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
John Cusack doesn't hate this movie (um, anymore?) kaphawoman
Was this movie written by a child? Dumb and Cheesy. waters-9
Other Definitive 80's Comedies barrerarama
Favorite 80's blond bully - nemesis? ohlou326
who else thought Beth was a bit** JLetofan
Discuss Better Off Dead... (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?