Better Off Dead

Just added the movie Better Off Dead to my DVD library.

Category: 80s Teen Angst

Subgenre: John Cusack

I remember catching I didn’t catch this movie at the theater but on cable, although where exactly I have not a clue. But I loved it. Because it was so different. I mean, a teen movie about suicide. Only Cusack would have attempted that. And he pulls it off masterfully.

Plus it’s got those cool claymation interludes. And an appearance by the scary guy from the Porky’s movies, which was written and directed by Bob Clark, the guy who directed A Christmas Story, which of course made Peter Billingsley forever famous as the round-faced  kid with glasses kid with a chubby for a Red Rider BB gun. Billingsley did some stuff post-A Christmas Story and finally came full circle when he played an actual elf in the Will Farrell vehicle, Elf. Since then he’s been executive producer on Iron Man and Four Christmases, and he directed Couples Retreat, which I heard wasn’t very good but still, at least he managed to stay out of the porn industry, which is more than you can say for his A Christmas Story co-star, Scott Schwartz, who got side-tracked into skin flick for a time, which sure was probably fun for a time but didn’t do much for his legit career. But apparently a Hollywood career is not dead until the actor is because recently Schwartz has been doing some stuff, small parts in small films.

Do you ever wonder if actors, when the make a comeback or return to the biz or whatever, get calls from actors they’d been in movies with a long time ago? Like do you think the guy that played Englberg or Rudy Stein in the original Bad News Bears movies has been trying to get in touch with Jack Earle Haley, who played Kelly Leak? Because the guy went from being like lost in Hollywood Siberia or someplace like that to Academy Awardy nominee. I mean, come on. Would you try to get in touch. I would. But then I have no shame. Sad but true.

Anyhoo… I haven’t yet had a chance to re-watched Better Off Dead. Thought I’d give it a run while on the tread mill but it will not play on our small DVD player. But I’ve got it on the shelf and that’s what matters, right.

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