The dark horse of all '80s teen comedies, Savage Steve Holland's hilarious yet underrated multi-character opus starring a young John Cusack has achieved cult status as a film; however, the soundtrack is a lifeless disappointment. Produced, arranged, and scored by Rupert Hine, this synth pop pioneer crafted music that works fine for the movie, but falls somewhat flat as an album. "With One Look," sung by Hine and Cy Curnin of the Fixx, is one exception; crafted in layered keyboards, this upbeat yet sentimental piece is the epitome of the '80s music scene, and appropriately used at the film's conclusion. Three synthesizer instrumentals (voguish in 1985) are sprinkled throughout; however, repeated listens sound extremely dated and one-dimensional. E.G. Daily, who has had a career of supporting acting roles and vocal duties on soundtracks, appears as the performer at the school's New Year's dance, singing the sugary "A Little Luck" and the overtly puffy title song, both included here. However, an inexplicable omission is Van Halen's "Everybody Wants Some!!," as the song was applied in a now infamous claymation scene depicting a singing cheeseburger playing a familiar red-striped guitar among a vat of dancing french fries. Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" could have spruced things up as well, again utilized perfectly in the film, but for some reason left off the album in favor of forgettable synthesizer theme music. While Better Off Dead will be fondly remembered among the decade's funniest teen films, its soundtrack sadly will not.
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AllMusic Review by Craig Curtice