Better Off Dead Poster

Release Date: 1985

DVD Release Date: July 16th, 2002

PG|1 hr 38 min

Plot Summary
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.

Cast: John Cusack, Diane Franklin, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby, Demian Slade, Scooter Stevens, Curtis Armstrong, Amanda Wyss

Director: Savage Steve Holland

Genres: Comedy

Keywords: Competition, Offbeat, Love, Amusing, 1980s, Love interest, Underdog, Rivalry, Friend

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • Better Off Dead, a seemingly teenage comedy that wasn't good enough to be released during the prime summer play dates, is utterly devoid of appeal. [15 Oct 1985, p.C2]

  • Better Off Dead has the body of a tired teen comedy but the soul of an inspired student film; it's the first movie in a long time to interrupt itself periodically with flights of animated fancy. At one point, romantic foreshadowing is accomplished by a "clay-mation" sequence featuring cheeseburgers in love. At another, a lovesick teen draws a cartoon picture of his faithless girlfriend, and the drawing tells him to get lost. [17 Oct 1985, p.B6]

  • Better Off Dead is the kind of movie that people won’t really fess up to liking, but I’ve rarely met anyone who didn’t secretly love it passionately. show more

See all critic reviews on