Better Off Dead (Widescreen)
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Cusack/Stiers/Darby/Slade/Stevens/Franklin ~ Better Off Dead (1985)
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Favorite Moments (Close your eyes and remember)
1) CHRISTMAS! DO THEY HAVE CHRISTMAS IN FRANCE? CHRISSSSMASSS! Opens picture of Ricky and goes outside and laughs for about 5 minutes on the front step.
2) TWO DOLLARS, PLUS TIP! I don't think there can ever be a more evident line for a movie than this. All you have to say to someone is "TWO DOLLARS!" Chances are if they saw this flick they will say "BETTER OFF DEAD".
3) "DUDE, RIGHT NOW I CAN BE MAKING SOME KILLER EGGNOG FROM LIGHTER FLUID!" "CHICKS WILL GET STERILE JUST LOOKING AT YOU" "BUCK UP LITTLE TROOPER" Charles Demar or Booger as you may have come to know him steals the scene on several occassions.
The funny thing is he teams up with Cusack again in One Crazy Summer.
4) BARNEY RUBBLE ASKING LANE TO GO OUT WITH BETH. Need I say more.
5) IT'S GOT RAISINS IN IT, YOU LIKE RAISINS - With that the green slime crawls off of its plate and across the table.
I could go on for hours, do yourself a favor and buy this movie! If you want to remember the eighties all over again this will bring it all back home. A great cast, script and many, many laughs. Also check out One Crazy Summer, along the same lines.
In the role he was seemingly born to play, John Cusack performs the lead role of Lane Myer, a high school student driven to the brink of suicide after the girlfriend he's obsessed with dumps him for the more popular ski team captain. Lane is essentially a human punching bag, with little indignities and embarassments piling up on him until his life becomes intolerable. He has a weird passive-aggressive quality about him, suffering mainly in silence even as his frustrations mount and he tries to figure out a way to improve his lot. To some viewers, Lane might seem like a baby who exaggerates his problems, but anyone with fresh memories of suffering through high school knows better. Lane is such a relatable and enduring character precisely because during your teen years everything often seems like a matter of life and death.
What really makes the movie, though, is the collection of screwball characters and director Savage Steve Holland's keen eye for inspired details. "Better Off Dead" is filled with little bizarre elements that may not have much of anything to do with the plot, but they'll make you laugh. Lane's little brother builds elaborate futuristic contraptions and studies (with great success) the art of picking up trashy women. Lane's math class sits in rapt attention as their teacher explains a geometry problem.Read more ›
If you honestly watch this movie hoping to be enthralled by its plot, cinematography, and acting performances, you quite possibly are a moron. That's not what this movie is about. It's about the "international language." It's about learning the street value of a mountain and where to score some nasal spray. It's about beating some Korean kids off the line (one who speaks Howard Cosel while the other speaks no English at all) without having you dental plan activated. I make no attempt to try and convince you that this is a great movie. It is what it is. I will however give you this bit of advice, look for the little things. Look for the timing as Lane comes oh so close to eating the spoon full of cat food as he ponders the possibility of it all being just a big test. See Charles mouthing to his fetal pig (or whatever it is) in the jar to "WAKE UP!" as the camera pans by. Sure it has great lines. Sure it has funny moments. But the point I'm trying to make is that you will not enjoy this movie as much the first, second, or third time as you will the 15th, 16th and 17th. It's just that kind of flick.
As far as the DVD version goes, I would have to tell people to stick to the VHS. While obviously the picture and sound qualities are better it lacks the feel that comes from the haze of a worn out VCR. In moving back to the wide screen, much of the intimate feel is lost because this is never a movie that needs to open up and show the world. Live in its smallness. Embrace it. And most importantly, take it for what it is. No more. No less.
Most recent customer reviews
For an 80's dvd well condition and great movie clear and brought me back to my teen yearsPublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Delivered in perfect new condition quickly and I got to enjoy the best copy and rare BLU - Ray version of this film I enjoyed since I was a teenager when this came out.Published 12 months ago by Vasilios Ikosipentarchos
I was happy with how quickly my purchase was processed and shipped.I had a very positive experience with this purchase.Published on Dec 26 2012 by lee-ann shortt
Product as described!!! Excellent!!!! Received it sooner than expected! This movis is hard to find, so I've been looking for a long time. Very happy!Published on Nov. 24 2012 by Gwen
Comedy seldom stands the test of time, such is the case with this early Cusack vehicle. I remember seeing this film when it was first released and fondly reminiscing about how... Read morePublished on May 15 2012 by Bobo