7.1/10
40,903
206 user 48 critic

Better Off Dead... (1985)

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer
After his girlfriend ditches him for a boorish ski jock, Lane decides that suicide is the only answer. However, his increasingly inept attempts bring him only more agony and embarrassment. Filled with the wildest teen nightmares.
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Popularity
1,887 ( 455)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Lane Meyer
David Ogden Stiers ... Al Meyer
Kim Darby ... Jenny Meyer
Demian Slade ... Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens 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 Brian Imada ... Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell ... Rocko
Amanda Wyss ... Beth Truss
Curtis Armstrong ... Charles De Mar
Aaron Dozier Aaron Dozier ... Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon Frank Burt Avalon ... Roy's Ski Buddy #1
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Storyline

The teenager Lane Meyer has a crush on his girlfriend Beth Truss. When Beth dumps him to stay with the successful skier Roy Stalin, Lane is depressed and decides to commit suicide. However he gives up and tries to improve his skill of skier to ski the dangerous K12 slope to impress Beth. Meanwhile his neighbor Mrs. Smith receives the exchange French student Monique Junot and her fat son Ricky Smith considers Monique his girlfriend; however, Monique has an unrequited crush on Lane that does not note her. When Lane stumbles upon Monique in a high-school party, he befriends her. The upset Lane challenges Roy in a competition on the K12 slope but then he regrets. However Monique is a great mechanic and skier, and fix Lane's Camaro and teaches him how to ski the K12 slope. What will happen to Lane? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You've blown up your neighbor's mom. Your seven-year-old brother has better luck with women than you do. Your girlfriend has a new boyfriend. Relax, you're never... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the "K-12" mountain scenes, John Cusack and stunt doubles were made to wear welding goggles as opposed to the traditional ski goggles. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "the welding goggles blocked peripheral vision, thus forcing the stunt doubles to 'ski 50-degree slopes looking straight down'." See more »

Goofs

Lane in sitting in class and pulls a folded piece of paper out of his pocket. It is clearly wrinkled and has a wad of gum in the middle. Later, he holds up the piece of paper, smooth and no sign of gum. See more »

Quotes

Monique Junot: I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.
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Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, Badger's home-built space shuttle launches through the roof of the garage and soars into the night sky. See more »

Alternate Versions

The network version (which most commonly airs on Comedy Central) had several scenes removed, including the jello snorting scene, Lane's brother with the "How to Pick Up Trashy Women" (along with the women themselves), and the Q-Tip scene in the bathroom. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bob's Burgers: Better Off Sled (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
Performed by Darlene Love
Produced by Phil Spector
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User Reviews

 
Unconventional teen movie with surreal elements
29 March 2018 | by aquascapeSee all my reviews

I've seen "Better Off Dead..." in late 2017. I have a tendency to avoid teen comedies or coming-of-age films once I passed into adulthood. To my defense, most teen films done lately are atrocities, to say the least, with dumb down characters, playing on stereotypes and modern social issues in the wrong way. Not ten minutes in and I instantly regretted not seeing this movie earlier. It has such a wacky take on teenage days in the 80's, with a hint of surreal and supernatural.

"Better Off Dead..." is about a high school student, played by boy-wonder John Cusack, who gets dumped by his girlfriend, leaving him with suicidal inclinations while trying to win her back by extreme measures. The characters are simply excellent, just mildly stereotyping the teen genre, with a memorable newspaper boy and his eternal yell "I want my two dollars!"

Savage Steve Holland's debut film would assure him as a cult director, but sadly once the 90's emerged, he would fall into an abyss of mediocraty.

"Better Off Dead..." is a unique teen movie that captures the vibe of the 80's and is an essential watch in a period where the "brat-pack" ruled.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Better Off Dead See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$56,371, 25 August 1985

Gross USA:

$10,297,601

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,297,601
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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