7.2/10
35,680
185 user 40 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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On Disc

at Amazon

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Jenny Meyer
Demian Slade ...
Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens ...
Badger Meyer
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Mrs. Smith
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Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)
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Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada ...
Chen Ree
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Rocko
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Beth Truss
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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:

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

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

The voice of Yuji Okumoto doing Howard Cosell was dubbed by impressionist Rich Little. 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

Paperboy: I want my two dollars.
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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

Like To Get To Know You Well
Written by Howard Jones (1985)
Performed by Howard Jones
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User Reviews

 
Blurred Realities
15 February 2006 | by (United States) – 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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