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Better Off Dead [DVD] [1985]

Release Date:07/16/2002
One would think that a film as popular as Better Off Dead would receive decent treatment on the DVD. Sadly, that is not the case. The highlight (if it can be called that) of this disc is the image, which is anamorphic and framed at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The picture, for the most part, is quite good, and unquestionably the best this film has seen since its days at the theaters. Still, there are times when detail is an issue. Grain is also evident sporadically throughout the presentation. It's not enough to ruin the effect of the digital transfer, but could have used a little more clean-up. The sound has not been significantly altered from when it was released in 1985. All that is included is an English two-channel stereo soundtrack. Though dialogue is clear and distortion free, it's also rather unimaginative. There is little question though in what's truly the main disappointment with this disc, and that's the supplemental features. A disappointment because they are non-existent. There is nothing on this disc, including the obligatory trailer. It's a shame since the film has gathered such a cult following over the years that something couldn't have been put together to please the fans that have stuck by this small, but very funny, film.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (111 out of 112)

    Special Features

    • Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs
    • English subtitles
    • Dolby Digital English Stereo
    • Closed Captioned


    Better Off Dead
    Most animation aficionados of the 1990s know "Savage Steve Holland" as the cocreator (with Bill Kopp) of the all-stops-out TV cartoon series Eek! The Cat. But Holland had been exercising his own peculiar brand of deviltry on live characters long before Eek! came into being. In Holland's Better Off Dead, John Cusack plays a lovestruck teenager, hopelessly enamored with Amanda Wyss. When she dumps him in favor of a more popular high-schooler, the boy's entire day quickly goes to Hell. In the words of Hamlet, all occasions do inform against Cusack: he is bullied, tormented and torn apart by everyone from the paperboy (who seemingly turns up everywhere) to the disembodied voice of a radio deejay. Cusack attempts suicide, but his efforts are just as unsuccessful-and amusing-as Bud Cort's in Harold and Maude. Meanwhile, French exchange student Diane Franklin, held a virtual prisoner by her host family, develops a long-distance crush on Cusack. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • John Cusack
      John Cusack - Lane Myer
    • David Ogden Stiers
      David Ogden Stiers - Al Myer
    • Kim Darby
      Kim Darby - Jenny Myer
    • Image coming soon
      Demian Slade - Johnny Gasparini
    • Image coming soon
      Scooter Stevens - Badger Myer

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.