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:
7.2/10   34,918 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Truly, a sight to behold! See more (184 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Cusack ... Lane Meyer

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:
Catherine Fitz ... Student (uncredited)

Stevie Mack ... Student (uncredited)

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 .... re-recording mixer
John L. Mack .... re-recording mixer
Richard Tyler .... 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)
 
Location Management
Huw Davies .... location manager
 
Music Department
David Anderle .... music supervisor
Rupert Hine .... music producer
Ted Roberts .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist (uncredited)
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)
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

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:
Savage Steve Holland stated in an interview that John Cusack hated this movie and walked out of the film after twenty minutes during a special screening prior to the star of production on One Crazy Summer (1986). Holland said: "The next morning [Cusack] basically walked up to me and was like, 'You know, you tricked me. 'Better Off Dead...' was the worst thing I have ever seen. I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don't speak to me' . . . He was just really upset. And I said, 'What happened?! What's wrong?!' And he just said that I sucked, and it was the worst thing he had ever seen, and that I had used him, and made a fool out of him, and all this other stuff . . . It was so out of left field that it just floored me." Cusack completed principal photography on "One Crazy Summer" due to contractual obligations but it had it not been for this Cusack likely would have not done the second film with Holland.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Charles DeMar (Curtis Armstrong) says to Lane Meyer (John Cusack) at the end of the algebra class, "if you make that run girls will get sterile just looking at you". Sterile is a male trait. Women can become infertile, but it's men who can get sterile.See more »
Quotes:
Lane Myer:[at 54:05] What's that?
Rocko:Those are the keys to this establishment. I want you here at 6:00AM Saturday morning. Now, this place has to be swept and mopped up before the breakfast crew get here.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Like To Get To Know You WellSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
51 out of 77 people found the following review useful.
Truly, a sight to behold!, 26 July 1999
Author: Dan Grant (dan.grant@bell.ca) from Toronto, Ontario

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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