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Better Off Dead...
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Reviews & Ratings for
Better Off Dead... More at IMDbPro »

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Two Dollars.... I want my two dollars..

Author: boneal01 from Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
9 July 2002

Ok, so you're in a video store and you're trying to find a good comedy. The problem is that nothing seems worth watching. There's predictable romance/comedies, the gross-out teen "comedies," And then there's Savage Steve Holland. He's insane. His movies, cartoons, and television serials are insane. "Better Off Dead..." is one of Holland's best films. It's got lots of odd humor, a nice love story to go side by side with a messed up love story, and singing/dancing hamburger patties. It's worth renting, and if the humor is up your alley, it's worth owning.

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Truly an awesome spectacle to behold!

Author: David Sheppard (trains_gg1) from Colorado, USA
14 June 2002

This movie is one of the all-time classic comedies. John Cusack is a genius, and Savage Steve Holland has created a masterpiece. It is truly an awesome spectacle to behold. The characters and the writing make this the victory-hungry stallion of comedies.

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Hilarious........minor spoilers ahead.

Author: Kelly ( from Ohio, USA
28 May 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I like John Cusack a lot so I bought this movie knowing I would like it. I didn't like it.......I loved it! It's pure 80's comedy. I couldn't stop laughing after Laine's mother opens the door while vacuuming and knocks him off the steps after he decides not to hang himself. There's just something about John Cusack--he's got incredible acting talent. I also loved the part when he makes fun of his brother for trying to build that laser gun and the brother turns around and blows up something about 2 feet away from Laine. Oh yeah and all the cereal and cat food spilling all over the floor. CLASSIC.

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Savage Steve Holland

Author: thomasgulch from United States
11 May 2002

Why doesn't Savage Steve Holland make more films? There are moments of chaotic random comedic greatness. The scene in Lanes kitchen when his mother is boiling something akin to an octopus, or when rickey's mother explodes. Or rickey jumping to capture an escaped balloon. It sometimes seems that Holland is as concerned with the background action in a frame as he is in the main action. Good stuff.

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A terrific 80's film!

Author: Doug Brown (klaatuu8) from Detroit, Michigan USA
11 May 2002

John Cusack is wonderful, as always, as Lane. There are a couple of slow points, but the flow of the movie is not really interrupted. I love the soundtrack (totally 80's!)! I would, highly, recommend this movie to everyone. Lots of laughs!

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Definitely in my Top Ten!

Author: rebelynn ( from new york, NY
3 April 2002

Well, I first saw this movie at about age 10 (as you can tell, during the 80s I was too young to truly experience the wonder that was "the 80s", but in this case that doesn't really matter.) Thus began my love affair with John Cusack. The absurdity of Lane's situations, coupled with classic deadpan delivered only as Cusack can, made "Better Off Dead" worth seeing again and again. Wonderful supporting cast, especially Curtis Armstrong as Charles DeMar, David Ogden Stiers as Lane's dad, and Vincent Schiavelli as the physics teacher contributes to the success of this movie.

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The Perfect Teen Angst Movie

Author: Gary from NC
7 February 2002

Now THIS is a teen comedy.John Cusack is absolutely gut busting hilarious as Lane,a teenager who has but two loves : Skis and a girl named Beth.Prepare to hate the paper boy and thank God your Mom could cook. To tell anymore of the story would be a travesty because everyone deserves to see every bit of this little gem for themselves.For those of us that grew up in the eighties this is a must see,the rest of you sit back and look at how silly we were at that age.Priceless.

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I Love John Cusack

Author: Anna (Phillygirl) from Philadelphia, PA
1 August 2001

All classic 80's movies are great, but Better off Dead is probably one of my absolute favorites. With the young newspaper delivery boy who only "Wants his 2 dollars" to Cusack's mother's cooking, this film is so entertaining. I don't usually laugh out loud at most movies but I definately did during this one. Fun for everyone...I highly recommend it.

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A favorite in our family

Author: XRANDY from Korea
26 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


A delightful, jocular tale of teenage trauma. The story of Lane Meyer requires no deep thinking and minimum emotional involvement to enjoy. You only need sit back and keep the smirk on your face. The plot follows the hapless Meyer as he futilely tries to regain the affections of his ex-girlfriend (who dumped him), and the even vainer attempts at suicide when his numerous attempts at winning her fail. Interwoven within this sorry state of affairs are some very well set-up jokes that reoccur throughout (the indefatigable paper boy, the genius little brother and his escapades, the mad oriental drag racers, etc) and some memorable, risible scenes (the postman who litters the street with mail, the mom who buys her family TV dinners for Christmas).

My wife and I fell in love with this movie as young adults and we have successfully turned it into one of our children's favorites also. In fact many of the show's lines have become family catchphrases in our home: `Two dollars', `You like raisins', `Go that way really fast and if something gets in your way…turn', `You wash your hands on your own time' `I've been going to this high school for seven and a half years…I'm no dummy', and one of the all-time great lines in comedy `I'm sorry your mom blew up, Ricky'

Yes there are some juvenile and downright silly moments, but they never stray out of context and their detraction from the film's merits are venial.

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My grandmother dropped acid, freaked out and hijacked a bus full of penguins.

Author: psycho8566 from Oklahoma
6 June 2001

You really can't beat Steve Holland when you are looking for a hilarious film with a true element of teen angst and frustration. Lane Myer, a semi-crazy high school student gets dumped by his girlfriend, Beth, for the captain of the ski team. With the help of his jello snorting pal played by Curtis Armstrong, Lane is determined to ski the K-12 (a very large, dangerous mountain) to win back Beth...or commit suicide. With lots of laughs and great, likable characters, this is definitely recommended highly.

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