IMDb > Better Off Dead... (1985)
Better Off Dead...
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Better Off Dead... (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   28,836 votes »
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Writer:
Savage Steve Holland (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Better Off Dead... on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 October 1985 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Insanity doesn't run in the family, it gallops. See more »
Plot:
A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Bizarre. But disarmingly so. See more (171 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Cusack ... Lane Myer

David Ogden Stiers ... Al Meyer

Kim Darby ... Jenny Meyer

Demian Slade ... Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens ... Badger Meyer

Diane Franklin ... Monique Junot

Laura Waterbury ... Mrs. Smith

Dan Schneider ... Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)

Yuji Okumoto ... Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada ... Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell ... Rocko

Amanda Wyss ... Beth Truss

Curtis Armstrong ... Charles De Mar
Aaron Dozier ... Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon ... Roy's Ski Buddy #1
Joe W. Davis ... Roy's Ski Buddy #2 (as J. Warren David)
Peter Ellenstein ... Roy's Ski Buddy #3

Vincent Schiavelli ... Mr. Kerber
Edward Mehler ... Buster
Thomas Rollerson ... Roller Skater
Toby Iland ... Nerd #1
Jonathan Charles Fox ... Nerd #2 (as Jonathon Charles Fox)
Darren Harris ... Nerd #3
Randy Stoklos ... Jock #1
Sam High ... Jock #2
David Vaughn ... Jock #3

Tina Littlewood ... Chris Cummins

Steven Williams ... Tree Trimmer
Stuart K. Robinson ... Tree Trimmer's Helper

Taylor Negron ... Mailman
Rima Delane ... Joanne Greenwald

Elizabeth Daily ... Elizabeth Daily
Ron Anello ... The Band

Dominick Certo ... The Band
Jude Cole ... The Band
Robert Gianette ... The Band
Angie Rubin ... Backup Singer
Yano Anaya ... Paperboy
Joey Tushnet ... Paperboy

Sebastian Dungan ... Paperboy

Rick Rosenthal ... Smitty

Rich Little ... Additional Voices (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Stevie Mack ... Student (uncredited)
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Directed by
Savage Steve Holland 
 
Writing credits
Savage Steve Holland (written by)

Produced by
Gil Friesen .... executive producer
Michael Jaffe .... producer
Andrew Meyer .... executive producer
William Strom .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Rupert Hine 
 
Cinematography by
Isidore Mankofsky 
 
Film Editing by
Alan Balsam 
 
Casting by
Caro Jones 
 
Production Design by
Herman F. Zimmerman  (as Herman Zimmerman)
 
Set Decoration by
Gary Moreno 
 
Costume Design by
Brad R. Loman  (as Brad Loman)
David Roester 
 
Makeup Department
James R. Scribner .... makeup artist (as Jim Scribner)
Georgina Williams .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Jack Clements .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yudi Bennett .... first assistant director
Jann Dutmer .... second assistant director
Fred Lerner .... second unit director
Scott Printz .... dga trainee
 
Art Department
Rich Cline .... swing gang (as Richard Cline)
Tom J. Furginson .... swing gang (as Thomas Furginson)
Art Lipschultz .... property master
Bill McLaughlin .... leadman (as Bill McLaughlin Jr.)
Bud Peifer Jr. .... assistant property master
 
Sound Department
Bud Alper .... sound mixer
Gene Ashbrook .... boom operator
Kevin Durst .... sound effects editor
William Hooper .... supervising sound editor (as Bill Hooper)
Don MacDougall .... sound re-recording mixer
John L. Mack .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Tyler .... sound re-recording mixer
Dick Vandenberg .... sound effects editor
Earl Watson .... sound effects editor
Cary Weitz .... cable operator
Bill Young .... sound effects editor
Bill Henderson .... sound re-recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Roy L. Downey .... special effects (as Roy Downey)
 
Visual Effects by
William Reilly .... motion control technician
Hoyt Yeatman .... special optical effects: DQI (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Frank Beddor .... stunts
Sandy Berumen .... stunts
Cheré Bryson .... stunts
Hank Calia .... stunts
Jean Coulter .... stunts (as Jeannie Coulter)
Greg Wayne Elam .... stunts
George Fisher .... stunts
Bill Hart .... stunts
Keith Harvey .... stunts
Kent Hays .... stunts
Johnny Hock .... stunts (as John Hock)
Jeff Jensen .... stunts
Wayne King .... stunts
A. Michael Lerner .... stunts (as Allen Michael Lerner)
Fred Lerner .... stunt coordinator
Bill McIntosh .... stunts
Faith Minton .... stunts
Tom Morga .... stunts
Harvey Parry .... stunts
Wally Rose .... stunts
Debby Lynn Ross .... stunts
Tanya Russell .... stunts
Sharon Schaffer .... stunts
Rick Seaman .... stunts
Peter Stader .... stunts
Neil Summers .... stunts
Dick Warlock .... stunts
Mark Yerkes .... stunts
Jim Dunn .... ski double: John Cusack (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Malcolm Brown .... first assistant camera (as Malcom Brown)
Jim Dunford .... dolly grip
Albert Fitch .... electrician
Jan Gould .... grip
Frederick Hamm .... second assistant camera
Frank M. Holgate .... photographer: second unit (as Frank Holgate)
David Jarrell .... best boy
Jake Jarrell .... gaffer
Tom Kessenich .... key grip
Greg Langham .... electrician
Rick Neff .... camera operator
Fred Sabine .... still photographer
Mark Stanley .... second key grip
Russell Wooley .... best boy
 
Animation Department
Bill Kopp .... animator: cartoon animation
Jimmy Picker .... animator: "Burger & Fries" animation
 
Casting Department
Robert Lansing Parker .... extras casting: Los Angeles (as Lansing Parker)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marcy Lavender .... costume supervisor
David Roesler .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
William Fletcher .... apprentice editor
Nancy Forner .... associate editor
Susanne Gervay .... negative cutter (as Susanne Garvay)
Patrick Magee .... assistant editor (as Patrick W. Magee)
 
Music Department
David Anderle .... music supervisor
Rupert Hine .... music producer
Ted Roberts .... music editor
Stan Jones .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Stephen W. Tayler .... music mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Robert Elsey .... transportation captain
Donald Haflich .... transportation captain
David Jernigan .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Kristin Bundesen .... production assistant
Kristin Burleson .... production assistant
John Byl .... craft service
Stan Cohen .... caterer (as Stanley Cohen)
Curtis Collins .... production assistant (as Curt Collins)
Huw Davies .... location manager
Merle L. Jackson .... production coordinator (as Merle Jackson)
Audrey Kennedy .... assistant to producer
Shelley Kirkwood .... unit publicist
Maria Lease .... script supervisor (as Maria Cady)
Mike Marvin .... producer: skiing sequences
Dona Williams .... production accountant
Isabell Yale .... first aid
David E. Van Houten .... publicity designer (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Better Off Dead" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lane's little brother, Badger, has no lines in the entire film.See more »
Goofs:
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: On Christmas morning, Al Meyer is putting a bow on the garage door, he is using a ladder. However, when he stands on the driveway in front of the garage, he is eye-level with the bow. Clearly, he did not need the ladder to put either the windows in or the bow on. Exactly, that's the joke.See more »
Quotes:
Lane Myer:[talking about skiing the K-12] Look Charles, I gotta do this. If I don't, I'll be nothing. I'll end up like my neighbor Ricky Smith. He just sits around crocheting all day and snorting nasal spray.
Charles De Mar:He snorts nasal spray? Know where I can score some?
Lane Myer:ARE YOU GONNA HELP ME OR NOT?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
ShineSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Bizarre. But disarmingly so., 18 December 2000
Author: pleiades10 from Woodbridge Va

John Cusack's girlfriend has just dumped him for the biggest jerk in school, and John deals with the depression, anger, and frustration in humorous ways. Slowly, he finds himself bonding with French exchange student Diane Franklin, a beautiful and clever young woman, that helps to build up Cusack's self-image so he can win his girlfriend back.

Better Off Dead follows a familiar basic storyline. Main likeable character is dealt a bad hand in life, pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, and ends up triumphing over the people who pushed them down. This formula led to such films as "Animal House", "Revenge of the Nerds", and "Porky's". Not that these films are bad, they are just similar in basic plot.

Better Off Dead however, adds a bizarre surreal quality unaccomplished by these other films. Perhaps this is due to the claymation hamburger sequence, or the unlikely skiing competition at the end of the film.

Or perhaps it's due to the parade of familiar faces from other 80's films. John Cusack's best friend is none other than Curtis Armstrong, best known as "Booger" in the Revenge of the Nerds movies. Next door neighbor and consummate slob Dan Schneider is recognizable as "Dennis" from the TV show "Head of the Class". Cusack's boss at the fast food joint is played by Chuck Wallace, the title character from "Porky's". And with a bit part, yet one the funniest in the whole film, Yano Anaya reprises his "Grover Dill" persona from "A Christmas Story" in the form of a vengeful paperboy. I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!!!!

Also has some of the funniest lines in 80's teen comedy, such as Franklin's accidental misuse of the word "testicles", and the comment made by an onlooker when Cusack tumbles into a trash truck.

Definitely better than the majority of 1980's teen comedies.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Better Off Dead... (1985)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
Major plot hole at the end (spoilers) TwinOfOne
Does anyone know were I can try to locate a copy of 'Better Off Dead' jet_blanchard
See more »

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