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Better Off Dead Movie Trivia

Better Off Dead Trivia

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Better Off Dead Picture
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Film facts for the 1985 Comedy movie starring John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby More Cast


We believe the following trivia is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

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Scooter Stevens, who plays Badger, doesn't say a word the entire movie!
Cast/Crew Dash Branaghan
Amanda Wyss, who played Beth, also played Tina in "Nightmare on Elm Street". She was Freddy Krueger's first victim.
Thanks to Marty
John Cusack allegedly hates and detests this movie and, along with 'One Crazy Summer', he considers them the worst movies he's made.
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Curtis Armstrong who played Lane's friend Charles, was also in "Revenge of the Nerds" and had a supporting role on tv's "Moonlighting" with Bruce Willis. He later played the role of attorney Peter Goldman in the seventh season of TV's "The Closer".
Thanks to Jordan
One of the Nerds in the Geometry class (the one that opens his suitcase that has a computer inside) played a role as John Cusacks Nerd friend in "Sixteen Candles". Apparently playing a Nerd was this guys Cup O' Tea!
Thanks to Muzzledox
Cusack and Savage Steve Holland also teamed up in "One Crazy Summer"
Thanks to Tom
The Animation in the Intro Credits was drawn by Bill Kopp, who also designed all of the animations of the "Whammy" on the 1980s game show "Press Your Luck". Bill and Savage Steve Holland were at CAL ARTS, where they met and later collaborated on Better off Dead and One Crazy Summer.
Thanks to Improvius
Elizabeth Daily sings in the movie and plays herself. She now does quite a bit of voice work, including playing the voice of Buttercup in "The Powerpuff Girls".
Thanks to Denise
Elizabeth Daily also had parts in Valley Girl in 1983 and in the creepy 1988 movie Bad Dreams, under the name E.G. Daily.
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At the very end of the credits it says "The film's over- you can go now."
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A homage to a previous teen classic: Porky from "Porky's", owns 'The Pig Burger' in "Better off Dead".
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The hamburger is singing like David Lee Roth but is playing Eddie Van Halen's signature guitar.
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The ducks in the puddle of water they land the car in during the drag race climb out of the driver's side of the vehicle when they arrive at school.
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The Camaro that was used in "Better Off Dead" has been restored. You can read the incredible story of how one fan tracked down the car and see some current pictures of it on the "finished car" page at his website.
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Lane gets fired from Pig Burger, but is still able to get inside with Monique after hours.
Thanks to Raj Mehta
The owner of Pig Burger gave lane the keys to the establishment when they first met. The fat guy threw them at Lane and Lane asked him "What's that?" Fat guy responded with "those are the keys to this establishment....." He later tossed him out, presumably without having the chance to take the keys back.
Thanks to Brad Silzer
During the school dance scene, one of Lane Myer's friends is sporting a red & green striped sweater. Which was an homage to Amanda Wyss's role in "Nightmare on Elm Street".
Thanks to Kathy
Amanda Wyss also played Woody's girlfriend from home on Cheers. She guest stared in two of three episodes. Her name was Beth on the show.
Thanks to DanFan
Dan Schneider, who plays "Ricky" in the film, went on to play "Dennis Blunden" in the TV show "Head of the Class" from 1986-1991.
Thanks to Lou
Laura Waterbury who played Mrs. Smith in "Better Off Dead" is also the crossing guard in "One Crazy Summer."
Thanks to Dan Duffy
Diane Franklin, who played "Monique", also co-starred in another 80s cult classic, "The Last American Virgin", as well as having a bit part as one of the princesses in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure".
Thanks to Leigh Russell
Diane Franklin also features in one of the "Amityville" sequels, and a low budget comedy/horror called "terrorvision"
Thanks to Fabrizio
I believe Diane Franklin also starred as the evil step-mother in "How I got into college"
Thanks to Mike
Lane's mother in the movie is played by Kim Darby, who played opposite John Wayne in True Grit
Thanks to Lance
Lane's Dad was also Winchester in the TV series MASH.
Thanks to Brian Jardine
Notice the characters/actor connections between "Better Off Dead" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High":
1) Vincent Schiavelli plays the lovable but quirky biology teacher in "Fast Times" and is the lovable and quirky geometry teacher in "Better Off Dead."
2) Amanda Wyss plays the bored girlfriend who breaks up with the guy (Judge Reinhold) in "Fast Times" and plays the bored girlfriend who breaks up with the guy (John Cusack) in "Better Off Dead."
3) Taylor Negron plays the sarcastic pizza delivery boy in "Fast Times" and plays the sarcastic mail delivery boy in "Better Off Dead."
Thanks to Snobrdr
On the show South Park, Show 603, they recreate the ski scene in the movie, except it is between Stan and a cocky teen named Tad, and on the mountain called the K-13.
Thanks to Anabel
Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote an episode of South Park in which Stan gets trapped in a knock-off of "Better off Dead". The South Park episode is entitled "Ass-pin" (a parody of "Aspen"),
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All of the race scenes with the two Asian 'Howard Cosell' brothers in the orange car are filmed at the same stoplight! The 'Howard Cosell' impersonator is played by Yuji Okumoto from "Karate Kid part II".

Yuji Okumoto also owns a Hawaiian-themed restaurant named Kona Kitchen/Yuji Lounge in Seattle, Washington.
Thanks to Improvius
The ski slope in the movie is called the K-12, which may be a joke for anyone who knows about slope ratings. The highest (hardest) slope rating is 9.
Thanks to SomeYoungGuy
K-12 may also be a pun on Lake Tahoe, CA ski resort Squaw Valley's KT-22, which was named by the wife of Squaw's owner when it took her 22 kick turns to descend that part of the mountain, which rises imposingly from Squaw's base area. It's not impossible to ski by any means, but it is an experts only area (see www.squaw.com). Given that B.O.D. was supposed to be set in Northern California, there's a pretty good chance that the K-12 was a pseudonym for KT-22 at Squaw (aka Squallywood).
Thanks to John Hoff
I always assumed K-12 was a play on K2, which is the second highest mountain in the world.

User rockincat68 adds:

I've always thought it was goof on slope rating, too, but also that it referred to school: K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th grade).
Thanks to Anna Montag
The actor who played Laine's Math teacher, Vincent Schiavelli, passed away recently in 2005. He was also the Science teacher, Mr. Vargas, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Thanks to Peter Franks
In the scene where Lane falls and accidently pulls down the cheerleaders outfit, the girl playing the cheerleader had the set cleared except for essential personnel only. Bashful, I guess. (I know this b/c I was one of the basketball player extras in this movie.) I was the one on the far left in that scene and the one eating the baby food at the cafeteria table, closest to the camera.
Thanks to Devolution
None of the math that is being done in movie actually makes any sense. However the problem done in Mean Girls is the correct answer.
Thanks to Anonymous
Yano Anaya, who played the Paper boy is also Grover Dill (the toadie) from "A Christmas Story".
Thanks to John Monette Jr
Vincent Shcivelli was also in "Ghost" playing the ghost in the subway.
Thanks to sinlinlin
Diane Franklin was also in the 80's Cult Classic " The Last American Virgin" playing the love interest of both Lawrence Monoson ( Gary), and Steve Antin ( Rick).
Thanks to Bryant Carr
The scene where Lane is being chased by the paperboys, then scrambles behind his car and exclaims "KEYS!!" is a homage to the a scene in the Richard Pryor classic 'Which Way Is Up?' where Pryor,as a no-good preacher, is being chased by his congregation and scrambles to his car mumbling to himself "KEYS! KEYS!"
Thanks to DM
The mountain K-12 in Better Off Dead was named as a reference to life after highschool. We all go through K (kindergarten) to 12 (senior in highschool) and then it's the great unknown. When you ski the K-12 you are no longer afraid of what comes next... growing up!
Thanks to Rebecca Dolan
The school for the dance scene with Monique & Ricky (where Monique & John Cusack first talk to each other) is Clark Jr. High in La Crescenta, Ca. It is the same as in "Sixteen Candles". It was shut down in the 80's.
Thanks to Rob Aikins
In one of the cafeteria scenes the members of the basketball team are eating baby food.
Thanks to Mindle Pohl
When Charles and Lane are in the grocery store and Charles claims, "I can't even get real drugs here", he is purchasing whip cream in an aerosol can.
Thanks to Kelly Vickers
The contraption Badger sent off for and made was a rocket ship made from household appliances.
Thanks to Lawrence Miles
The voice of the Asian teen who learned English by watching Howard Cosell is done by comedian Rich Little. Rich also does the voice of Barney Rubble, when Barney, while Lane is watching the Flintstones, asks Lane if he could go out with Beth.
Thanks to Kevin Allustiarti
During the ski training with Lane, Monique is obviously played by a man wearing a wig. The hair is much much too big, so it could cover more face.
Thanks to steve shepherd
One of the basketball players that beat up Lane is legendary beach volleyball player Randy Stoklos.
Thanks to chester
Rich Little also appears in "One Crazy Summer" (as the DJ of the radio contest).
"Better Off Dead" marked the feature film debut for writer-director Savage Steve Holland.
Look for film director Rick Rosenthal as Smitty.
Thanks to Clint Laourdakis
Kim Darby, (Lane's mom), also starred in the famous horror TV movie "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" as well as being one of the stars of the original "True Grit" with John Wayne.
Thanks to Steve
In the geometry scene in Better Off Dead, the problem the girl is writing in the backgroung makes no sense and says thigs like SHUT UP divided by BE QUIET.
Thanks to Dan Thompson
Badger's new project (how to build your own NASA space shuttle from household item's send $9.95) at the top reads "US Kids Space Academy.
Thanks to Brianne Messman
You will notice that John Cusack lives his life through his drawings that come to life in Better off Dead. Well, he does the same thing in One Crazy Summer as well.
Thanks to Matthew
Lane's home address (found on the box that arrives for Badger) IS the actual filming location for the movie. 'Avenue' has been changed to 'Street', and the zip code is different. The address seen is "Greendale", but the actual filming location is Glendale, CA. Both houses are still there, but the garage now has no windows!
Thanks to Kate Scoggins
It seems that the guy who plays Ricky, is the same guy in line in the cafeteria when Lane is trying to flirt with the cheerleader
Thanks to Elvin Road
Actor Steven Williams who notably plays the famous Captain Fuller in 21 jump Street (and Xfiles, Jason goes to hell...) plays an electrician during 3 sentences (and 10 seconds). He sadly comments Cusack passing in a dustcart.



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Bogus Trivia

There's often fake stuff floating round, y'know? -Like the 'ghost boy' that can allegedly be seen in "Three Men And A Baby".




But, nothing bogus that we know yet for "Better Off Dead".
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