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   28,993 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:
A teenager with a death wish. See more (170 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)

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

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:
In a 2004 interview, Savage Steve Holland said of his suicide attempts which inspired this movie: "I went into the garage, and I put an extension cord on a pipe and I'm on a garbage can, and I'm thinking, 'Should I do this? Maybe this isn't a good idea.' Anyway, it was a plastic garbage can, and my weight just like crashed through it, and I fell, and the pipe broke! And it starts pouring water everywhere. And I'm basically in a garbage can, drowning. And my mom comes and...starts yelling at me for breaking a pipe, which is what any mom would do. So I started writing down stupid ways to kill yourself that would fail after that, and I put them in sort of a diary. And that diary kind of became Better Off Dead... (1985)".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Both Roy and Lane agree to have their showdown at the K-12 at high noon on Sunday. But when they eventually race, the sun is low in the sky indicating that it is early morning or late afternoon.See more »
Quotes:
Monique Junot:I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.See more »
Soundtrack:
One Way LoveSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A teenager with a death wish., 22 September 2008
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Eighties teen films, I love 'em. I never tire of this brand of entertainment that's a true product of it pop-culture times. There's something about this wonderful era. Everything about the humour had a natural build up, and even during the hits or misses it stayed consistently amusing without resorting to gross-outs. 'Better off Dead' fits that buck. Here's another cherished coming of age story through the eyes of a troubled teenager dealing with a dumped relationship and the embarrassments that seem to follow through the painful years of high school and everyday life. Wallowing in self-pity, eventually it comes to identifying self-confidence over what isn't the impossible. What am I going to type that someone hasn't already. Nothing. The plot is secondary to the oddball episodic set-pieces and comic characters, where the flow is unpredictable and original like out of some daydreaming teenager's imagination. John Cusack (a pin-up boy for these roles) has that likable, down-to-earth awe which fits. Surrounding him is a fantastically hearty support cast in David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby, Diane Franklin, Demian Slade, Amanda Wyss, Curtis Armstrong, Dan Schneider and Laura Waterbury. Director Savage Steve Holland throws caution to the wind with his animatedly interesting style, but manages to make sure everything still comes together without really trying. Well it looks so. Visual gags also have a powerful note like the night-time chase sequence involving a persistent paperboy after his 2 dollars and the drag racing scenes with a pair of Asians. Even the ski scenes are well shot. An upbeat soundtrack pounds out the catchy, nostalgic tunes and cements an provocatively charming sincereness. It's hard to pass up this self-knowing, off-kilter teenage comedy/romance winner.

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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
Was this movie written by a child? Dumb and Cheesy. waters-9
John Cusack doesn't hate this movie (um, anymore?) kaphawoman
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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