7.2/10
34,203
182 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.
Reviews
Popularity
2,833 ( 36)

On Disc

at Amazon

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 7.4/10 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 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
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Keith goes out with Amanda, the girl of his dreams, Amanda's ex-boyfriend plans to get back at Keith. Meanwhile, Keith's best friend, tomboy Watts, realizes she has feelings for Keith.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
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
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Terry Griffith has got it all -- looks, popularity, the perfect college boyfriend, and an article that's a shoo-in to win her a summer internship at the local newspaper... or so she thinks.... See full summary »

Director: Lisa Gottlieb
Stars: Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jenny Meyer
Demian Slade ...
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 ...
Frank Burt Avalon ...
Roy's Ski Buddy #1
Edit

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:

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 »

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/VHS cover of all the characters reflecting from John Cuzack's sunglasses shows someone hanging on to the sunglasses themselves. If you look closely, the hand that is holding on to the hinge of glasses is incorrectly drawn in reverse. See more »

Goofs

During the final ski race, the sun alternates back and forth between midday, late day, and completely overcast in the span of less than 10 minutes. See more »

Quotes

Lane Myer: Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last line of the credits reads The film's over... you can go now. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Little Girl in the Big Ten (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Foxy Lady
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
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. ***


51 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
Does anyone know were I can try to locate a copy of 'Better Off Dead' jet_blanchard
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:
?