Better off Dead

Better off Dead

4.4 21
Director: Savage Steve Holland

Cast: John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Savage Steve Holland's cult comedy favorite Better Off Dead finally makes its way to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, which is aSee more details below

  • Checkmark Movies from the 1980s  Shop Now

Overview

Savage Steve Holland's cult comedy favorite Better Off Dead finally makes its way to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, which is a disappointing surprise considering how popular this film has remained with its cult audience. Paramount has done a fine job with the picture and sound quality, but dropped the ball in the area of extras.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Easily one of the most refreshing teen comedies ever committed to film, Better Off Dead features John Cusack as Lane Myer, a jilted, angst-ridden high schooler whose multiple suicide attempts fail miserably, to great comic effect. This decidedly black angle, in the cheery years of Ronald Reagan's second term (1985), gave this conventionally plotted flick a patina of post-punk nihilism and may have scared some ticket buyers away. But those who have come to love it from repeated TV and video airings know that this film, writer-director "Savage" Steve Holland's first, is sweet and genuine despite its darker trappings. Cusack, an awkward 18-year-old when this was filmed, embodies the Everyteen -- surrounded by idiots, unable to catch a break, and utterly devastated when his girlfriend, Beth (Amand Wyss), dumps him in favor of the far more handsome and popular ski team captain, Roy Stalin (Aaron Dozier). When she explains her decision to hook up with Stalin without mincing words (oh, and she says his car's nicer, too), you're ready to follow poor Lane right over the brink. Holland surrounds Lane with hilarious caricatures while punctuating the action with dream/fantasy sequences that underscore his hapless lot, but he affords a glimmer of hope in the cute French exchange student living across the street from Lane. Yes, Better Off Dead slips back into teen-movie conventions with the inevitable Stalin-Myer downhill ski race in the last reel, but for 85 or so minutes it's a breakneck run that you'll want to try again.
All Movie Guide
Cartoonist Savage Steve Holland made his directorial debut with this acid comedy about a going-nowhere hamburger flipper and his run of bad luck. Its gleefully twisted tone, exemplified by a goofy suicide attempt in a basically lighthearted film (John Cusack's character jumps off a bridge, only to land among the refuse of a passing garbage truck), made it a minor quotable classic to a generation of young anti-authoritarian filmgoers. In one of his earliest roles, Cusack wears his expression of hangdog gloom with real comic sensibility, and the succession of miserable people and events that enter his life warrant every last frown and sigh. The funniest and most memorable character set on bedeviling Cusack's Lane Myer is the determined paperboy, willing to ride his bike down a ski slope to collect his fee, whose refrain "I want my two dollars!" will resonate with audiences long after the credits roll. Curtis Armstrong and Dan Schneider also turn in quirky performances as Lane's best friend and his nemesis next-door neighbor, respectively. The set pieces, some of them punched up by Holland's own animation and offshoots thereof, make for a pleasingly outlandish little coming-of-age story that doesn't betray its own world view, even during the inevitable happier moments of the tale.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
07/16/2002
UPC:
0097368719149
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
981

Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; English subtitles; Dolby Digital English Stereo

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Lane Myer
David Ogden Stiers Al Myer
Kim Darby Jenny Myer
Demian Slade Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens Badger Myer
Diane Franklin Monique Junet
Amanda Wyss Beth Truss
Laura Waterbury Mrs. Smith
Curtis Armstrong Charles De Mer
Aaron Dozier Roy Stalin
Rima Delane Joanne Greenwald
David Vaughan 3rd Jock
Dan Schneider Ricky Smith
Yuji Okumoto Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell Rocko
Frank Burt Avalon Roy's 1st Ski Buddy
J. Warren David Roy's 2nd Ski Buddy
Peter Ellenstein Roy's 3rd Ski Buddy
Vincent Schiavelli Mr. Kerber
Edward Mehler Buster
Thomas Rollerson Roller Skater
Toby Iland Nerd #1
Jonathan Charles Fox Nerd #2
Darren Harris Nerd #3
Randy Stoklos Jock #1
Sam High Jock #2
Tina Littlewood Chris Cummins
Steven Williams Tree Trimmer
Stuart K. Robinson Tree Trimmer's Helper
Taylor Negron Mailman
Yano Anaya Paperboy
Joey Tushnet Paperboy
Sebastian Dungan Paperboy
Rick Rosenthal Smitty
Rich Little Voice Only
Elizabeth Daily Herself

Technical Credits
Savage Steve Holland Director,Screenwriter
Alan Balsam Editor
Roy Downey Special Effects
Gil Friesen Executive Producer
Rupert Hine Score Composer
Michael Jaffe Producer
Brad Loman Costumes/Costume Designer
Isidore Mankofsky Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Andrew Meyer Executive Producer
Gary Moreno Set Decoration/Design
Herman Zimmerman Production Designer

Read More

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Beating the Paperboy
2. Cereal and Boiled Bacon
3. Howard Cosell Impersonators
4. Ski Team Tryouts
5. Death Attempt by Hanging
6. Green Goo With Raisins
7. Nose Wiping Incident
8. "I Want My Two Dollars!"
9. Chalkboard Fantasy
10. Mr. Kerber Asks to Date Beth
11. Cartoon Fantasy
12. Death Attempt by Jumping
13. White Trash
14. Christmas Miracle
15. Mailman Asks to Date Beth
16. Father/Son Talk
17. High School Dance
18. Meeting Monique
19. Attack of the Paperboys
20. A Man Alone
21. Everybody Wants Some
22. Barney Rubble Asks to Date Beth
23. "Franch Fries, Franch Dressing, Franch Bread"
24. K12 Challenge
25. Persistent Paperboy
26. Big Faker
27. Lane Wins the Drag Race
28. Romantic Frozen Dinner
29. Sliding Down the Mountain
30. Paperboy on Skis
31. Lane Wins the Ski Race
32. Language Lessons
33. One Look

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >