Better Off Dead Reviews
Better Off Dead tells the cliche tale of the teenage boy who's obsessed with his girlfriend who dumps him for a complete douche bag with long blonde hair and is captain of the ski team making the boy a miserable sod that tries to win her back by doing something only one person has ever done before: ski down the K12 slope despite her being a real bitch and not worth his time. He has the cliche dumb friend who hangs out with him even though they really don't have a lot in common. He has the cliche mom who is eccentric and also wears ridiculous clothing, talks in a high-pitched voice, and cooks horrible dinners. He has the cliche father who is an angry old man that is upset with how his son is living his life. He has the cliche younger brother that is much smarter than him. He befriends the cliche super attractive new with the hopes of getting his old girl back and instead ends up liking her in the end. Sorry not sorry for that spoiler but I mean who doesn't see that coming. Besides, even 12-year-old me watching this movie for the first time would have went with Monique over Beth. I had a bit of a crush on her back then and I remembered that I thought she looked so pretty when she was working on the car.
So why do I like this movie? Because within those cliches is so much randomness. Lane's obsessiveness with his girlfriend leads to him failing to commit suicide multiple times throughout the film! His friend Charles isn't just dumb, but he's also a drug addict that gets excited when he sees"pure snow" and starts snorting it! His father Al no matter what he does can't seem to prevent his garage door from being destroyed. His mother Jenny is so oblivious and weird, while running the vacuum, she almost lead to Lane hanging himself. And her cooking was so bad, she thought it was a good idea to boil the bacon because her husband said that it was too greasy, His brother Badger is building all kinds of gadgets including some sort of gun that fires lasers! And certain... naughty things you wouldn't expect from a boy so young. The new girl Monique is a foreign exchange student from France and she's living with the worst hosting family ever. The hostess Mrs. Smith is insane and stupid while her son Ricky is the most socially awkward and creepy dude ever! He barely speaks throughout the entire movie yet his grossness is still one of the main highlights of the film. And the entire time all you can think is, poor poor Monique.
And I didn't even mention the Asian brothers that want to drag race Lane all the time with the one brother driving and the other one announcing it in the voice of ESPN broadcaster legend Howard Cosell! Nor did I mention the Paperboy that is on a mission to get back the $2 that the Meyer family owes him for delivering the papers.
I also enjoy this movie because how quotable it is! Here are some of my favorites!
Charles: "Lane, I've been going to this high school for 7 1/2 years. I'm no dummy."
Worker: ""Man that's a real shame when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that."
Lane: "One night with me and she'll probably go blind with sheer ecstasy. Poor creature."
Rocko: "You wash your hands on your own time boy now get to work!"
Lane: "You think you're such a big tough guy cause you're captain of the ski team."
Monique: "I think all you need is a small taste of success and you'll find it suits you"
And plenty of awesome Smith family moments. Poor poor Monique.
Mrs. Smith: "That's a Christmas present. You have Christmas in France? CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS!!!!"
Lane: "Gee I'm real sorry your mom blew up Ricky."
Really campy and somewhat dated movie that has it's fair share of bad overused jokes like the radio playing only break-up songs when switching from station to station or someone throwing a softball into a window breaking glass and them sneaking away making an "oooh" face with dogs barking etc. But it's got enough dark humor and plenty of jokes that actually are funny to make this worth your time if you're into cheesy 80's films that is. I see this as a poor man's Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's not quintessential, but it's still feel good fun!
If you watch this and enjoy it ...
Tagline: Have you ever snorted snow on top of a mountain at a ski resort?
The film takes place in a sort of surreal anti-sitcom world, where Mums cook mush, props fall apart and characters act and speak like cartoon ducks. It's a comedy of errors and exaggerations to the extreme, yet even when the jokes fall flat, the film's always upbeat, always unusual and always great fun. Plus it's pathos-free and has bags 80s charm to boot. Terrific stuff.