Better Off Dead…

Poster for the movie "Better Off Dead..."
© 1985 A&M Films − All right reserved.

Listener John Enright asked Shat The Movies a year ago to put the Best of John Cusack up for a vote. Then he waited month after month and heard nothing: no “Say Anything,” no “Grosse Pointe Blank,” no “Sixteen Candles.”

Fed up, Enright decided to grease the skis of justice with some hard-earned cash and three words everyone had been dying to hear: “Better Off Dead.”

Big D nearly fainted. Gene Lyons squealed. Roger asked, “Is that the one with the boombox?”

“Better Off Dead” truly is a movie that would not get made today: a little-known short-film director named Savage Steve casting an obscure young actor in a lead role about teen suicide, featuring Korean drag racers who only speak Howard Cosell, possible exchange student sex slavery, and stop-motion dancing hamburgers? What could be more ’80s?

This warm blanket of nostalgia took us back to Dick Ebert’s childhood memories of collecting G.I. Joe Flag Points and throwing piss bombs from his third-floor video gaming nest. And it unearthed Roger’s woeful tale of the breakup that ruined him for life.

Meanwhile, Gene tells listeners why jumping is a terrible way to kill yourself and Old Man Dick Ebert rails against paperboy Johnny and his quest for $2.

Plot Summary: “Better Off Dead” Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss). When Beth dumps Lane, he decides to kill himself, making bumbling attempts at suicide. Outside of his morbid endeavors, Lane spends time with his oddball buddy, Charles (Curtis Armstrong), and befriends Monique (Diane Franklin), a visiting French student. Eventually, Lane resolves to race Beth’s obnoxious new beau on the ski slopes, with unexpected results.

Subscribe Now

Help Support the Podcast

Not rated yet!
Director
Savage Steve Holland
Producer
Michael Jaffe
Production
A&M Films, CBS Entertainment Productions
Release Date
11 October 1985

Not rated yet!
Director
Savage Steve Holland
Producer
Michael Jaffe
Production
A&M Films, CBS Entertainment Productions
Release Date
11 October 1985