Four weeks. Twenty weekdays. That’s approximately how long you have until we screen the 1985 dark comedy classic Better Off Dead at Avalon Theater. On Wednesday, July 18, Milwaukee Record, the Avalon, and new series sponsor Lakefront Brewery will celebrate this hilarious ’80s masterpiece in all its gonzo glory. Tickets are $2 (plus $3). Buy them here.

Directed by Savage Steve Holland and starring a fresh-faced John Cusack, Better Off Dead follows the wacky suicidal misadventures of Lane Myer (Cusack) as he struggles with his ex-girlfriend Beth (Amanda Wyss), his snow-snorting best friend Charles de Mar (Curtis Armstrong), his nasal spray-snorting neighbor Ricky (Dan Schneider), his bizarro parents (David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby), his How To Pick Up Trashy Women-reading little brother Badger (Scooter Stevens), a prototypical ’80s jock/bad guy (Aaron Dozier), and a homicidal paper boy (Demian Slade). Oh, and those drag racers who talk like Howard Cosell. And the guy who runs Pig Burger. Oh well, at least there’s French foreign exchange student Monique (Diane Franklin), who can totally fix Lane’s ’67 Camaro but has a phobia of, eh, how you say? Octopus? Testicles?

Can Lane beat Roy Stalin in the big ski race down the K-12? Can he make it through one shift at Pig Burger without imagining an elaborate burgers-and-fries claymation video of Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some!!”? Did John Cusack really hate this movie when it came out? (Probably, but he’s warmed to it in recent years.) Can Charles find real drugs? Find out Wednesday, July 18, 7 p.m., at Avalon Theater. Just walk, drive, or bus down Kinnickinnic Avenue, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.