The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail present BETTER OFF DEAD - 30th Anniversary

October 2 | 7:30pm / With Savage Steve Holland & Cast Reunion

Moderated by Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani in Person

The 80’s were the best of times and the worst of times. The worst was typified by a shitty president, shitty “rock” (Poison, Motley Crue, Stryper – kill me) and shitty lycra, while the best was embodied by the greatest year of film comedy ever: 1985.

WEIRD SCIENCE, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, FLETCH, PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE BREAKFAST CLUB and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD all burned through theatres marking both the beginning and the end of an all too brief window that was as funny as it was wholly unique. Amongst the Class of 1985 was a film that mined the very best elements of its compatriots embracing surrealism, irreverence, humanism and inventiveness in equal measure: Savage Steve Holland’s gloriously demented, BETTER OFF DEAD.

BETTER OFF DEAD’s plot is as bonkers as the film itself… After being dumped by his girlfriend for the asshole-jock captain of the ski team, Lane Meyer (John Cusack) would rather die than be single. Following multiple failed attempts to commit suicide he falls for the beautiful French exchange student, Monique (Diane Franklin). Despite his love for Monique, Lane races his ski nemesis down the treacherous K-12 mountain to win back the heart of his ex-girlfriend. Throw in the worst parents possible, two Japanese Howard Cosell-impersonating drag racers, a gacked-out Curtis Armstrong (read: genius) and the paperboy from hell (“I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!”) and you have a deliriously batshit crazy coming-of-age bugnuts dream of a movie.

Savage Steve Holland was 25 years old when he wrote and directed BETTER OFF DEAD (his first film) and it’s telling. Free of the shackles of trying to play it safe he did exactly what you’re supposed at that age: he got crazy – and in doing so gave us the absolute very best of times imaginable. Christian Parkes

Christian Parkes

Guests: Savage Steve Holland and Cast Reunion

Director: Savage Steve Holland
Country: USA
Runtime: 97 minutes
Year: 1985


The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail is a stand-up comedy television series that currently airs on Comedy Central in the United States. It is hosted by stand up comedians Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani. It is filmed in the Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles.