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Better Off Dead... (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  11 October 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 31,827 users  
Reviews: 177 user | 40 critic

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

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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 ...
Beth Truss
Aaron Dozier ...
Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon ...
Roy's Ski Buddy #1


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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... See more »


Comedy | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Better Off Dead  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


People protested the film's original tagline, "'re Better Off Dead," so it was changed to "'re never Better Off Dead." See more »


The color and design of the steering wheel of Lane's station wagon changes immediately after the crash. See more »


Lane Myer: One night with me and she'll probably go blind with ecstasy. Poor creature. Gee, I hope she doesn't grab onto my leg and start crying once the date's over. What would I do?
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 »


Spoofs Harold and Maude (1971) See more »


Hurts So Bad
Written by Bobby Hart, Teddy Randazzo, and Bobby Weinstein
Performed by Linda Ronstadt
See more »

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User Reviews

Truly, a sight to behold!
26 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Better Off Dead is the zaniest movie that I think I have ever seen. Let's just recap what this movie has in it. We have a guy that attempts suicide but he can't even succeed at that. There is his best friend that declares that a mountain they are on in the dead of winter is pure snow, saying " Do you know what the street value of this is?" We have a father that is trying to speak the lingo of his kids and fails miserably and a mom that cooks food that literally slides off it's plate. We have a math class full of genius' that get upset when they don't have homework to do. Lane has a younger brother who orders books on how to pick up trashy women and learns how to build rockets. We have the entire male population ( and Barney Rubble ) that wants to go out with Lane's ex-girlfriend now that they are broken up. There is two Oriental guys that want to constantly race Lane and then broadcast it over the loud speaker on their car. There is Porky from the Porky's movies basically playing the same role here, dancing hamburgers, a basketball team that grunts and of course the most relentless paper boy in the history of paper delivery.

Whoooooooo! I'm out of breath. So why do I mention all of these things about the movie? Because all of these little issues combine to somehow make one of the funniest and zaniest movies you will ever see. Better Off Dead is so full of energy that there is enough material in here for ten movies. But Savage Steve Holland makes it work. Don't ask me how, but he does. I think I'm going to stop here because if you haven't seen this movie you have to see it now. This is a completely original film and it also one that no one will ever have the guts to make again. This is one hell of a film.

49 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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