October 8th, 2011: Better Off Dead…(1985)

Cast and Crew: David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby, Dan Schneider, Curtis Armstrong, Vincent Schiavelli, Steven Williams, Taylor Negron, Elizabeth Daily

What It’s About: Lane Myer (John Cusack) gets dumped by his girlfriend Beth Truss (Amanda Wyss) for Roy Stalin (Aaron Dozier), the captain of the high school ski team.  Between attempts at suicide, Myer tries to win Truss back by challenging Roy to a race down the deadly K-12.  Can he survive long enough to notice the French exchange student Monique Junot (Diane Franklin) staying with his disgusting next door neighbors?

Why Watch it Today?: Today is International Newspaper Carrier’s Day.  One of Better Off Dead‘s memorable running gags involves the Myers’ paper boy, who constantly asks for his “two dollars.”  As someone who delivered papers in the 1980s, when paper companies still sold kids papers and expected them to collect the money for the subscriptions from often reluctant to actually pay adults, the scenes involving the paper boy aren’t as far from the truth as you might think.  Better Off Dead was animator Savage  Steve Holland’s début film, a cult favorite that flopped at the box office but gained an audience on cable.

Where to Get It:  Netflix, Amazon, or libraries

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