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Alive and Well: Better off Dead Celebrated at the Aero

Sadly, John Cusack didn't make it. | Photo by Jon Peters for LAist
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by Jon Peters for LAist

Better off Dead celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica yesterday. In attendance was director “Savage” Steve Holland along with a coterie of stars including Diane Franklin (French exchange student Monique), Curtis Armstrong (snow snorting best friend Charles De Mar), and E.G. Daily (the intoxicating singer at the dance). Sadly, John Cusack, who some think landed his breakout role in this movie, was not in attendance. The rest of the cast, however, provided sometimes illuminating and always funny commentary during the film.

The story, which details the comedic adventures of one high school skier, Lane (played by Cusack) dumped by his girlfriend, and his multiple suicide attempts, holds up well. Many moments the audience yelled out lines or questions for the cast and crew. For example, the trademark “two dollars” catchphrase could be heard ad nauseam; at points in the evening the audience even sang along to the corny eighties soundtrack. It became clear from the number of die-hards in the audience that to some this was a nerdier version of Rocky Horror, except teenage, 80s and with Cusack.