Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead (1985)

29 corrected entries

(5 votes)

Corrected entry: After Lane Meyer gets beaten up by the basketball team he goes out to his car and it has a flat tire. Not only does he not notice, but he gets in the car and drives away normally. (00:32:18)

Correction: How is this a mistake? Lane just got raked over by an entire basketball team - he is exhausted, humiliated, injured, and wants to get out of the area immediately so he would not care his car has a flat tire.


Corrected entry: As Lane walks up to his Camaro, Monique is lying under it, and various engine components, including an internally regulated alternator (wrong year), a water pump, and a distributor with assorted wiring are on the ground. Monique then starts the engine. Pundits are sure to claim that she simply replaced the visible components, but that begs the question, where did she obtain the necessary funds. There's over $200 in pieces there, Monique does not have access to transportation, and auto parts stores don't usually deliver to retail customers.

Correction: Lane simply says he couldn't fix the car himself. He is surprised Monique has fixed the car, he doesn't seem surprised she has the parts. It's entirely possible he had the parts already, but was not confident enough, or mechanically inclined enough to install the parts himself. I've rebuilt a few cars, and generally it is much easier to collect all the parts beforehand and install them all when I have time to do it all at once.


Corrected entry: The movie is set in winter, around Christmas and New Year's Day. Throughout the movie, many types of deciduous trees that should be bare are seen with leaves. When the Camaro is first driven from the garage, some trees can even be seen in Autumn colors.

Correction: Not a mistake at all. Southern California doesn't share the same leaf-dropping schedule as other areas of the country.

It's actually the "state of Northern California" to quote Charles DeMar. But your tree explanation still stands.

Corrected entry: In the opening scene of the movie the psycho paper boy rides his bike down the street. The distinct sound of cards in the spokes of his bike is heard for several minutes, however it is seen that there are no cards in the spokes.


Correction: It is an established quirk of this film that all bicycles make that sound. In a world where eight year old boys can make lasers and working space shuttles, that's certainly allowable.

Corrected entry: There's a scene in the very beginning that has the father trying to get cereal for his breakfast. Yet, his son has cut the coupons from the boxes before they were empty. Each box the father takes out dumps a ton of cereal out of the bottom backs of the boxes. Now how could the kid have put those boxes back without making a mess? Also, where are the plastic bags that the cereal should be in?

Correction: Simple - he did make a mess. He, or someone else, cleaned it up after him. As for the plastic (or greaseproof paper) bags inside the cereal box, Badger cut a hole in those too when he cut open the box to take the tokens.

Correction: When I was a kid, they didn't have plastic bags inside the cereal boxes. The cereal was inside the box touching the cardboard. I think when this movie was made that was still the case.

No, plastic bags were in cereal boxes in 1985. I remember them. I remember wondering the same thing when I first saw this movie back in 1985.


Corrected entry: A side shot of the Camaro shows areas of Bondo on the driver's door and numerous scratches in the paint. Not only do they rebuild the engine, take the wheels off to have new tires installed, but they obviously repaint the door, and have the paint detailed...all in one day.

Correction: They got the car running, they didn't necessarily rebuild the engine. The paint was mostly faded, dusty and not terribly scratched; a buffer would make short work of that. The wheels are likely spare wheels already fitted with new tires, because the wheels at the beginning of the scenes are painted silver, and when they install the new tires, the wheels have been chromed. There's been some time involved because the car moves from the driveway to inside the garage as well.


Corrected entry: In the scene when they are sitting down for dinner and Ricky's mom lights her cigarette, there is an explosion out in front of the house. If you look closely, you can see sand bags used in the effect inside the house in both camera shots of it.

Correction: Those are throw cushions from the sofa, which is in front of the window.

Corrected entry: When Monique is out front throwing what looks like pears at the street sign, she tells Lane that the only thing that interests her in the U.S. is the "Brooklyn" Dodgers. The Dodgers had been in L.A. for 27 years at the time. Since 1958. (01:11:40)

Correction: That's the whole point of the scene.that she really knows nothing about the U.S.

Corrected entry: When Roy challenges Lane to ski the K-12, he tells Lane the competition is at high noon, but when they are both at the top of the slope ready to go, the sun is setting. Why would the sun be setting at noon?

Correction: Lane is considerably late for the competetion, as is mentioned by someone saying "it looks like he is going to be a no-show." Being early January, the sun could be setting in the afternoon, and since Lane is late by an unmentioned amount of time, it is easily explainable.


Corrected entry: Lane's friend makes mention that the town of Greendale is just a pitstop on the road to a ski area. Before the big race, he also mentions that they live in Northern California. The Space Shuttle kit which Lane's little brother receives in the mail has a ZIP code of 93065, which is Simi Valley, not far from Los Angeles.

Correction: Character mistake, not a movie mistake. Mail can still be delivered if the zip code is wrong, as long as the complete address is correct.


Corrected entry: During the montage of Lane and Monique putting the Camaro back together, we can see that the muddy tires still have blue dye on the raised white lettering - indicating that they are brand new and freshly-mounted. How'd they get muddy?

Correction: By driving back from the retailer who fitted them. They are really on that car, which is being driven during shooting of the film, so obviously the blue lettering/mud from road use combo is possible.

Corrected entry: While Lane's Camaro is being repaired, There is a scene where the aircleaner is being placed onto the engine. If you look closely you can see that no bolt comes up through the middle to screw it into place - what then does Lane screw the wingnut onto?

Correction: This is wrong. The shot starts with the air filter already low on the fitting - you cannot see the spindle shaft. Since Lane does screw a nut on it, it must be there.

Corrected entry: When Lane Myer (John Cusack), the main character, decides he doesn't want to hang himself from the garage door bars, his mother opens the door backwards to back up while she's vacuuming. The opening of the door pushes Lane off the steps and hangs him for a while, but you can see that his mother has to push hard to keep the door open against his flailing body AND that the door is hanging off the hinges.

Correction: Lane's mother has no idea what is pushing against the door - she isn't even facing in that direction. She just pushes harder against the door, as anyone would. As for the door being off the hinges - so what?

Corrected entry: While at dinner with Ricky's mom, Ricky, Monique, Lane, and Lane's family; Lane brings a bottle of flammable liquid to the table that he was planning on setting himself on fire with. Ricky's mom mistakenly pours a glass of this liquid and drinks it while Lane is dousing a rag with it and rubbing it on himself. Ricky's mom then lights a cigarette, Lane notices this and shouts for her to stop, then a large explosion. The shot cuts to Lane in the car with Ricky and Monique saying "gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up Ricky". Why didn't Lane blow up too? He was sitting right next to her and was covered with the flammable fluid as well.


Correction: Well, Lane wasn't the one with a lit cigarette in his hand or mouth, so it wouldn't ignite him. And she didn't in fact "blow up" so even though he was in close proximity, he couldn't have caught fire, even though he was daubed in the same fluid.

Corrected entry: At the New Year's Eve dance, when Lane leaves the building, it shows a shot of the band, with the singer wearing a sleeveless silver dress. When it goes back to the band to see Monique leave the dance, the singer has long sleeves on the same silver dress.

Correction: During the opening chords of the second song, we don't see the singer for some time - easily enough time for her to put on the jacket that matches her skirt.

Corrected entry: When Ricky and Monique arrive at the dance, Ricky first dances with her, then pushes her away and does his dance. Monique rushes out during this and runs into Lane and talks to him. Ricky then runs out (with a balloon) to find Monique talking to Lane. He tells her his mother will be waiting to pick them up and in a few minutes she's there with Ricky in the car. That was a real short date....

Correction: Yes, it was. This is not a film mistake.

Corrected entry: When Lane visits his brother's room to talk to him, his brother is working on a model gun. We see the brother tooling on the gun with a screwdriver, but there's no screw.

Correction: You never get anywhere near a close enough look at the gun to be able to tell that there are no screws holding it together.

Corrected entry: In the cafeteria scene, where Lane tries to pick up a cheerleader on roller skates, he chases after her to the lunch line, borrowing someone's skates along the way. He must have put them on awfully fast, because even though she got to the very short lunch line ahead of him and there was only one person in front of her, she was only JUST getting her milk when he finally arrived. Roller skates take a while to lace up.

Correction: Unless you don't bother lacing them up. Lane didn't.

Corrected entry: John Cusack plays a character by the name of Lane. Yet early in the film when his girlfriend is on the phone talking about her decision to break up, she refers to him as 'Blaine'.

Correction: That's in the script. She's demonstrating how utterly indifferent she is to Lane - she can't even remember his name.

Corrected entry: After Lane and Monique have been skiing for some time and have a moment alone Charles De Mar runs over his ski and breaks his binding. After everyone leaves the paperboy starts doing his "Give me the $2" thing and Lane skis away only to come to the top of the K12. The K12 is at the top of the mountain. How in the world did he get there without riding the ski lift?

Correction: Nowhere in this film is it said that the K12 is at the top of the mountain. Many dangerous ski runs start half way down a mountain, or lower, and the uphill ski runs can be comparatively gentle. .

Continuity mistake: Towards the end of the film, during the chase scene between the newspaper boy and Lane, you can see the skis of the camera guy.

More mistakes in Better Off Dead

Lane Myer: Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

More quotes from Better Off Dead

Trivia: This movie is referenced in the video game Rock Band. One of the items you can buy for your in-game character is a pair of ski-goggles called "K12s".

More trivia for Better Off Dead

Question: Why did the basketball teams at the cafeteria eat baby food?


More questions & answers from Better Off Dead

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