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"Sometimes you're Better Off Dead"

14

April

That headline sounds insensitive, and that's why back in 1985 it was canned by the studio execs when reviewing the promotional materials for the film Better Off Dead. (It was changed to "Relax, you're never Better Off Dead." What wimps.)

This week's Stuck in the 80s podcast on Better Off Dead is now online! Download it now. And stop putting it off -- just subscribe to us via iTunes and your life will be complete.

Here's some trivia about the movie that 80s addicts love so much:
-- John Cusack, who starred in the film, hated this movie and considers it one of his worst performances. (He also hates One Crazy Summer, which like Better Off Dead was directed by Savage Steve Holland.)
-- Impersonator Rich Little provides the voice of the Asian brothers who talk like Howard Cosell. (Little also does the Barney Rubble voice later in the movie.)
-- Diane Franklin, who plays Monique, might be best known as "Karen" in Last American Virgin. She also appears as the step-mom in How I Got Into College, the 1989 movie directed by Holland, and as a princess in 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
-- Amanda Wyss, who plays fickle girlfriend Beth, also played the first victim of Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street. She also plays Judge Reinhold's girlfriend Lisa in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
-- The math teacher is played by the late Vincent Schiavelli, who played Mr. Vargas in Fast Times.
-- The cartoons that Cusack draws in both Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer are actually drawn by director Savage Steve Holland.
-- Elizabeth Daily, a.k.a E. G. Daily, who co-starred in Valley Girl, plays herself in Better Off Dead, singing the title song at the school dance, which happened to take place on the same set as the school dance in 16 Candles.
-- Dan Schneider, who plays nasal-spray-addicted Ricky, later played one of the students on the 80s TV series "Head of the Class."
-- Better Off Dead is given tribute in two separate episodes of South Park, largely because creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are reportedly huge fans of the movie.
-- The network TV version of the film excludes three scenes: Charles DeMar snorting jello, Cusack with the Q-tips, and Badger with the women in his room.

One last unbelievable piece of trivia. The Camaro that Cusack and Franklin fix up in the movie is now owned by a rabid fan of the movie. It took years of phone calls and crawling through DMV records. Get the whole story at the website -- ta-dah! -- www.betteroffdeadcamaro.com.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:17pm]

    

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