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   29,543 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 »
NewsDesk:
(110 articles)
Wizard World Ohio: The Indies
 (From SoundOnSight. 7 November 2014, 4:32 PM, PST)

‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Finale Review: Better Off Dead
 (From Screen Rant. 9 September 2014, 6:34 AM, PDT)

Ranked: Every Summer Movie Season Since 1980 - Part 1
 (From Cinelinx. 8 September 2014, 4:11 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Suicide Is A Question You Don't Wanna Answer 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)

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:
Lane's little brother, Badger, has no lines in the entire film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Monique knocks Lane down, as he gets up, he says, "You're that French kid staying with the dorkheads, uhh.. Smiths next door." However, it seems apparent in a later shot (when Monique is throwing oranges) that the Smiths actually live across the street.See more »
Quotes:
Charles De Mar:And dying when you're not really sick is really sick, you know. Really!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
She's GoneSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Suicide Is A Question You Don't Wanna Answer, 15 August 2008
Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock

Savage Steve Holland's sensational 'Better Off Dead...' is another one of my favourite teen films. I had seen this movie decades ago but didn't catch the name. I've been looking for the nameless film for years and only recently I found out the title and got it immediately.

Ah, the nostalgic 80s when kids knew how to be young rather than spend their days on the cellphone or behind the computer. The film delightfully spoofs those teen angst movies that were so popular at the time. Lane's ex-girlfriend giving him an excuse that she dumped him for someone better looking and more popular, Lanes failed suicide attempts, Lanes cartoons are among some of the most amusing sequences.

Holland gives the film a unique treatment. 'Better Off Dead...' has an innovative quality that makes it one of a kind. It includes the adorable claymated romantic Hamburgers, cartoons, a stalking paperboy, a ski competition on one leg, a little brother who's a silent genius and an international language. Holland put a lot of heart in the writing and some of the lines had me rolling on the floor laughing.

The acting is splendid. The character Lane seems tailor-made for John Cusack. I've always thought of Cusack as an underrated actor and 'Better Off Dead...' is one of the few movies that does justice to his talents (even though this is perhaps one of his first roles). A vivacious Diane Franklin is supercute and she has the loveliest smile. The chemistry between her and Cusack is undeniable and both have excellent comic timing. David Ogden Stiers and Kim Darby are hilarious as the nutty parents. Curtis Armstrong provides some morbidly funny moments.

To say it in one sentence, 'Better Off Dead...' is one of the rarest examples of teen movies at its best. It already is a classic and while many of us watch it for nostalgic reasons, others may like it simply for the heart and humour.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (171 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Better Off Dead... (1985)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Does anyone know were I can try to locate a copy of 'Better Off Dead' jet_blanchard
Other Definitive 80's Comedies barrerarama
John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
Was this movie written by a child? Dumb and Cheesy. waters-9
Major plot hole at the end (spoilers) TwinOfOne
Favorite 80's blond bully - nemesis? ohlou326
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