Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead Title

Better Off Dead (1985)

Better Off Dead is a comedy film directed by “Savage” Steve Holland that stars John Cusack, Diane Franklin, and Curtis Armstrong.

This surreal romance film follows the failed suicidal attempts of a recently dumped teen. It gets weird.

Better Off Dead Lane and Monique

The Story (SPOILERS)

The story summary is under construction.

This section will be updated upon completion.



This is by far one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen. While confusing, the clever segues, callbacks, and absurd montages make it stand out.

John Cusack muttering “matches” and the insane paperboys always makes me chuckle. At the opposite end, the clay-mation David Lee Roth hamburger made no sense at all. It did lead to a great song though.

Most of the performances are fantastic. The parents are hilarious, Charles steals every scene, and the younger brother confuses the hell out of me.

John Cusack’s character is over the top. His personality is played for laughs mainly, even with the dark subject matter. He feels a bit stilted in some scenes, but can happen in comedies with bizarre scenes.

The love interest, Monique, is fine. Having her understand English was funny, but she became the deus-ex-machina.

Having her both fix the car and train Lane to ski was a bit much, even with the fun montages. Personally, it would’ve been funnier if Charles was the coach.

Ricky and his mom are annoying, but in the perfect antithesis way. The Racers and the Jocks were simple distractions from the plot, but entertaining.

This film will likely leave many confused. It has more akin to a spoof film than a standard romantic comedy.

That being said, if looking for an odd-ball choice, there is simply no better option.

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