Better Off Dead

I thought this 1980’s teen comedy might be fun to watch, but it wasn’t at all.

John Cusack plays a teenager (John was 19 at the time) who loses his girlfriend to the high school ski team captain, and he attempts to get her back. Along the way he meets a French exchange student and by the end of the film he is no longer interested in his ex but in the French girl instead, of course.

Also in the story is David Ogden Stiers (he died this year), Curtis Armstrong (Booger from Revenge of the Nerds), and a cast of mostly unknown but at least decent actors.

Roy Stalin (ski captain), Charles De Mar (Booger), ex-girlfriend, and Lane Myer (Cusack).
Davod Ogden Stiers and Kim Darby (she played the girl in the original True Grit film).

The jokes were mostly very silly, very much only jokes that teens in the eighties would enjoy…today’s teens would probably not even watch this film. The actors though did the best they could, and towards the end of the film the French girl fixed up John’s Chevy Camaro which was a real nice car, so that kept my attention while it was on screen.

French girl, John, Camaro.

Also of interest was when I realised that Curtis Armstrong did the voice of Scooter on Terrible Thunderlizards, and old fave cartoon series, he sounded exactly as he did in the cartoon, especially in this scene. Savage Steve Holland who directed this film also created, directed, and voiced the character Doc (Doc is the character on the left, Jason Priestley’s “Squat” character on the right) in Terrible Thunderlizards. And I just learned that Jason Priestley also voiced a character on that show.

So as a film it was not much at all, but I imagine for many it is a piece of eighties teen comedy nostalgia. I did enjoy researching this one though, there is a lot going on in the background of this film, this site has some juicy facts.

Something you may not know about John Cusack is that he was a kickboxer. From Wikipedia: He trained in kickboxing under former world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez for over two decades. He began training under Urquidez in preparation for his role in Say Anything… and holds the rank of a level six black belt in Urquidez’s Ukidokan Kickboxing system.

I will continue with eighties films though, I have Krull lined up next.

Date watched: November 25th
Score: 3/10
Film count 2018: 77

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