Better off Dead
Better off Dead
Most animation aficionados of the 1990s know "Savage Steve Holland" as the cocreator (with Bill Kopp) of the all-stops-out TV cartoon series Eek! The Cat. But Holland had been exercising his own peculiar brand of deviltry on live characters long before Eek! came into being. In Holland's Better Off Dead, John Cusack plays a lovestruck teenager, hopelessly enamored with Amanda Wyss. When she dumps him in favor of a more popular high-schooler, the boy's entire day quickly goes to Hell. In the words of Hamlet, all occasions do inform against Cusack: he is bullied, tormented and torn apart by everyone from the paperboy (who seemingly turns up everywhere) to the disembodied voice of a radio deejay. Cusack attempts suicide, but his efforts are just as unsuccessful-and amusing-as Bud Cort's in Harold and Maude. Meanwhile, French exchange student Diane Franklin, held a virtual prisoner by her host family, develops a long-distance crush on Cusack.

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

Play your DVD
19 taggs

Year: 1985
Running Time: 97 minutes
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG

Buy Movie at Amazon
Buy Soundtrack at Amazon
The director (Savage Steve Holland) did these animations and later designed the animations for the 1980s game show "Press Your Luck".

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 040128181166126069130130239012016101151123001188
Amanda Wyss (playing Beth) was also Woody Boyd's girlfriend from Hanover, Indiana on "Cheers", where she played 'Beth Curtis'.

taggd as: People Link to this tagg 160130111065125227013151112065054135219082184115
Amanda Wyss (playing Beth) breaks up with Lane (John Cusack), and in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", she breaks up Judge Reinhold (playing Brad Hamilton).

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 156010194176187080093064153046199032167247036049
169 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024-1905 (Notice the fire hydrant and street sign are the same.)

taggd as: Geography Link to this tagg 243057029153045216070031154111205019172198000180
Probably for comic effect, but the math being 'taught' here is complete gibberish.

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 117247153020199245113158192055050243015113091120
Vincent Shcivelli may be most recognized for his role in "Ghost", as the spirit in the subway who teaches Sam (Patrick Swayze) how to control things in the "living world".

taggd as: People Link to this tagg 170241105114124165214242172177193197087114213052
The jocks are all eating out of baby-food jars.

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 207223142123165044015016245106023243193153150111
"Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that." -Tree trimmer

taggd as: Quote Link to this tagg 033208098163154211138127216153102101098006227221
"You've been starring over that edge for hours. People die down there! And dying when you're not really sick is really sick, ya know?! Really!" -Charles (Curtis Armstrong)

taggd as: Quote Link to this tagg 250014124157017002164064156250044001065074155033
David Ogden Stiers is probably best known for his role as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H.

taggd as: People Link to this tagg 162048245081050053064161007036217096150222089075
Elizabeth Daily is a singer, songwriter, and musician and has made a career of being a voice actress. Some of her credits include playing 'Dottie' in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure", "Loverboy", "Friends" and "Dutch", as well as voices in "The Rugrats Movie", "A Rugrats Vacation", "Duckman", "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Curious George".

taggd as: People Link to this tagg 157183102125172186191009025242035048191076121177
Notice the red and grey "Freddy Krueger" sweater to the right of John Cusack. Amanda Wyss (Beth) was "Freddy Krueger's" very first victim in long running franchise of "A Nightmare on Elm Street".

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 049026168075027047230081197206065073098084107085
One Way Love (Better Off Dead) by E.G. Daily from the Better Off Dead Soundtrack

taggd as: Music Link to this tagg 168196113049207076236172071163226181013171086135
Lane's little brother, "Badger" (played by Scooter Stevens) doesn't have a single line in the movie.

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 046084229248131063006204110048123008016087006051
Lane's Camaro was lost to movie history - until Jeff Dutton of Kissimmee, FL tracked it down and restored it. Read the story at

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 130012109195047202032229255087083196032172039154
Diane Franklin (Monique Junot) also played 'Princess Joanna' in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

taggd as: People Link to this tagg 174129071195065179207069162062087229238229109253
Johnny the paper boy's line "I want my two dollars" also appears in another John Cusack movie "Hot Tub Time Machine", when a skier goes by Cusack and tells someone on his his brick-style mobile phone "Guess where I'm calling from? That's right! I want my two dollars!"

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 181191230252179200155022082066255152125239077118
"You're the hottest thing since sunburn!" -Charles (Curtis Armstrong)

taggd as: Quote Link to this tagg 124029029234213028209241199028199217112129140096
The last credit of the movie says "the film's over... you can go now."

taggd as: Trivia Link to this tagg 119166204201247185044028134182013098139023195072
You haven't taggd this video yet.