Better Off Dead (1985)
Not too many people know the name, Savage Steve Holland but if you happen to be a child of the 80’s and a fan of early John Cusack movies than you may be aware of the director’s work. Both Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer were two of my favorite movies growing up and they still hold up as comedy classics for me to this day. I can easily say Better Off Dead is in the top 5 best 80’s comedies. The great mix of comedy and drama, specifically romantic drama, and absurdist side-plots (the 2-dollar obsessed paperboy, the Howard Cosell speaking Asian car racers, little brother building a laser-gun) make these sublime examples of perfect, memorable and quotable comedies. I would have zero issue watching these with my kids and can’t wait to do so. I grin and chuckle just thinking about Ricky’s mom blowing up and Cusack’s character’s apology about it the next day.
This movie deserves its own review and maybe it will someday but now I want to highlight the two musical scenes, one involving the very lovable and sexy E.G. Daily who sings two songs in the movie. What school gets to have a band with a singer like E.G. Daily play for such a mediocre dance/party. It wasn’t even a prom but some mid-year little high school dance. That’s crazy! And the other scene is the infamous claymation hamburger music video for Van Halen’s spectacularly fun “Everybody Wants Some.” Yes they do.
I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!!!