Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Better off Dead, created by Savage Steve Holland: a Film Review


High school student Lane Myer’s two major interests are his popular girlfriend, Beth, and skiing. When Beth dumps him for handsome and popular Roy Stalin, head of the ski team, Lane is thrown into a suicidal tailspin as the Christmas season starts.

Between attempts to take his own life, he works on plans to either show Beth he can get over her, deciding to show Stalin that he can beat him at the K12 ski route. While trying to win her back, Lane begins to realize that maybe his life isn’t so bad.  His best friend, and junkie, Charles is right by his side encouraging him step by step.  The French exchange student, Monique, across the street, befriends him as a way to get out of the horrible house she is living in.  And his crazy family goes about their days doing their own little things from fighting with the newspaper boy to making creative meals that occasionally walk away of their own accord.

As Monique and Lane become closer, bonding over rebuilding his 1967 Camaro, his hallucinations about trying to get back together with Beth or to take his life continue.  He eventually challenges Stalin to racing on the K12 in order to prove that he is better and to win Beth back in the process.

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Black Comedy

-Creator: Savage Steve Holland

-Length: 97 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence, mild drug use and innuendo, suicide attempts and suicidal ideology, some surreal violence)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This is a frequently watched film in my house and has been since I was young.  Its to the point that I can, and often do, repeat lines throughout the entire film.

It’s a fun and quite silly look into the teenage brain.  Lane is absolutely obsessed with Beth and it is NOT healthy.  But this does commonly happen in teenagers.  They can become so obsessed with someone or something that death seems easier than living without that person/thing.

Even with presented with different options it really takes a LOT for Lane to snap out of it.  Of course, his parents are completely oblivious to the entire thing happening (though his father does try to connect with him at one point).  He is left to deal with everything his own way.

And overall, he does a decent job.  Seeing into his mind is a blast.  The over exaggeration of everyone around him wanting something or other is just fantastic.

I definitely recommend it to families with teens…or really anyone who enjoys 1980s comedy. The “Everybody wants SOME” scene is CLASSIC 1980s surreal Claymation perfection.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

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