Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead (1985)

29 corrected entries

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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: 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: After the dance when Monique and Lane meet for the first time, Lane says to Monique, "Hi, you're that French kid staying with the Dorkheads.uh.Smith's next door." But the Smith's live across the street, not next door, as evidenced by several scenes in the movie (i.e. Monique looking out her window upon arrival, Monique throwing fruit at the street sign, etc.).



Correction: Next door just means a close neighbor, not necessarily meaning literally next door. To be technical, the Smith's are the next door across the street from her.


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.

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.


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

Jason Hoffman

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: 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.

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: 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: 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. .

Corrected entry: When Lane and Charles are on the top of the mountain and Charles is advising Lane on how to ski the K-12 - Charles isn't wearing any skis. How does he get down from the top of the mountain?

Correction: He walked down the gentle slope behind him which we don't see (and don't need to), or the ski-lift that brings the skiers up there in the first place, or even a snowmobile parked just out of shot. Obviously the suicidal ski run isn't the only access to and from the summit - or they'd have to climb up it to get there.

Corrected entry: On Christmas day, Ricky's mom says to Monique, "Do you have Christmas in France?" (She squeezes Monique's cheeks with one hand) "Christmas...Christmas." Followed by insane laughter. No mistake in that scene... But in the scene where Monique is throwing fruit at a street sign, Lane comes by and has a discussion with her. At one point he grabs her cheeks with one hand and says, "Friend." Mocking what Ricky's mother did in the Christmas scene... But Lane was not at Ricky's house during the Christmas scene. He did not see Ricky's mom do that to Monique. So why would he have done that exact motion and said, "Friend," the way Ricky's mom said, "Christmas."?

Correction: She does that cheek squeezing thing to everyone - the woman is an obnoxious creature of habit. Lane knows her patronising little gestures and is impersonating her.

Corrected entry: At the very end of the film, Lane and Monique are sitting on the Camaro parked in a baseball stadium. They kiss then the camera zooms out. You can see the words "dodgers" on a sign at the top of the stadium. Dodgers stadium is in Los Angeles, many many miles away from the rocky mountain locations of the movie. It may be conceivable that they drove all that way for apparently no reason, however the psycho paper boy also is seen riding his bike on the field towards them. Rather difficult to ride a bike from the Rockies to the western coastline (especially after you fell off a mountain).


Correction: This movie is suppose to take place in northern California. The mountains they were skiing at are the Sierra Nevada mountain range not the Rockies. These mountains are in the eastern part of California. This would make the drive to Los Angeles much more feasible. However, that kid on the bike is crazy.

Corrected entry: When Lane and the French girl are fixing up the camaro, they push it into the garage. Notice when they push it into the garage, it is very dirty and dusty. But when they get done fixing it and are driving it out of the garage, it is very clean.

Correction: The repair job on the Camaro is shown as a disjointed montage. We don't see every single thing they do. Who's to say that they don't clean the car before it's debut - wouldn't you?

Corrected entry: If the K-12 is so hard to ski, how does Monique ski down it as easily as if she was taking a walk in the park?

Correction: She is an extremely expert skier, as is demonstrated later. The K-12 isn't all that difficult - Lane just lacks confidence, a problem he later conquers through sheer panic.

Corrected entry: When Monique is fixing Lane's Camaro all by herself the camera pans right, showing all the parts she took out of the car, one of them is the distributor. A minute later she gets out underneath the car and starts it up for lane. An engine can't run at all without its distributor.


Correction: It is very possible that she replaced the old distributor with a new one, and the old one is laying next to the car.

Corrected entry: When Monique is fixing Lane's Camaro, after Lane comes out to see what is going on, the camera shows that the entire distributor with cap and wires has been removed. How does Monique then start the car?

Correction: It is quite possible that she replaced those parts, and what we see are the OLD distributor, cap and wires.

Susan Yurcak

Corrected entry: In the final race on the K-12 between Lane and the captain, Lane gets about a 3-5 second headstart down the mountain. Yet both racers finish split seconds between each other, which would give the captain the win.

Correction: Not really. The referee calls what he sees - Lane passes the finish line ahead of the Captain, and he is declared the winner. Nobody at the base of the mountain knows that Lane got a head start. Later, the Captain may protest, but why put that in the film?

Corrected entry: Lane accidentally puts the car in reverse and crashes backward through the garage doors. I'm no expert, but I would think that you couldn't obliterate the entire two-door garage door with only a foot of space to work with.

Correction: Apparently it's possible.

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



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.



During the street race against the Asian brothers, Lane nearly runs over several nuns crossing the street. If you look closely you can see one of the nuns carrying a large ghettoblaster on her shoulder.