E.G. Daily Brings the Bumpin’ 80s Beats in Better Off Dead

Best known as Dottie in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, E.G. Daily was everywhere in the 80s. 

In fact, she puts in a head-turning performance at the school dance in our upcoming film, Better Off Dead. But by then, she had already made her mark many times over in the films and music videos of that decade.

In her teens, she made appearances on TV sitcoms like Laverne & Shirley and CHiPs. She appeared on Fame and Saturday Night Live. She played a starring role in Rod Stewart’s 1981 music video for Young Turks, and performed songs in Brian De Palma’s Scarface, as well as in lighter 80s fare like The Breakfast Club and Summer School. She had parts in Dogfight; Fandango; and, best of all, Lou Adler’s cult punk pic Ladies & Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.

In the years since, though she’s not on screen as much as she once was, she’s stayed quite busy. She’s done voices for main characters in Rugrats, Powderpuff Girls and Happy Feet. And fittingly, she just recently impressed the judges with a show-stopping audition on The Voice.

Keep an eye out for E.G. Daily in Better Off Dead. It all starts with buying your tickets today!

Boondocks Film Society
'Better Off Dead' and the Elusive Genius of Savage Steve Holland

Writer and director ‘Savage’ Steve Holland lacks the name recognition of a John Hughes or a Cameron Crowe, but for a fleeting moment in the mid ‘80s, one could argue that he soared to more dizzying and audacious heights than either of those teen-film giants ever managed. Like Better Off Dead protagonist Lane Meyer’s run down the K-12, Mr. Holland’s 1986 opus still dazzles to this day due to its reckless bravado. 

Back then, the young director was flush with the confidence that none other than Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler believed in his genius. So much so, that after seeing Holland’s first short film, The Fonz helped get him a studio deal. So Savage Steve threw himself into the project, without much interference from the studio, committing himself to acts of great peril, like animating a ground-beef version of Eddie Van Halen and wedging a sax solo into a candlelit fast-food dinner. The end product was a teen movie the likes of which hadn’t been seen before – and hasn’t been attempted since.

Better Off Dead, and to a lesser extent, Holland’s follow-up, One Crazy Summer, tossed out the script on what you could do in a teen comedy. He fearlessly delved into absurdity and slapstick, embraced nihilism and sociopathy, and mixed in oddball touches like gross-out food humor and animated notebook doodles along the way.

Despite some early buzz, Holland has trodden a path not unlike many of his characters. He has cut an engaging figure, and has made surprising and sometimes unexpected contributions, but has always done so from the fringes.

Still, Holland designed The Whammy, the animated scamp that frustrated contestants but delighted viewers of mid-80s game show Press Your Luck. He worked as an assistant director on Saturday Night Live for two seasons, created a star-studded animated Fox Kids show called Eek! the Cat, and went on to write for an impressive selection of teen sitcoms like Kenan & Kel and Lizzie McGuire. Not a bad haul for an entertainment industry misfit.

In Better Off Dead, we get a glimpse of Holland’s idiosyncratic sense of humor and his willingness to risk everything – as he takes on the indignity of suburban teen existence. This is coming-of-age filmmaking at its most original and daring. And, by the way, it's loads of fun. Stay tuned for more about the underrated cast, the music and the timeless appeal of Better Off Dead in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, get tickets for our upcoming event today for only $12!

Boondocks Film Society
Who's Jim Jarmusch?

For those familiar with the man, Jim Jarmusch is unmistakable. You’d never miss him strolling down a street in Manhattan with his gravity-defying shock of white hair, ample sideburns and mirrored sunglasses. 

His work announces itself just as unequivocally with a contemplative pace and a stripped-down aesthetic that allows the viewer to really live with the characters. Jarmusch isn’t afraid for audiences to feel his characters’ boredom, lack of motivation, uncertainty or malaise. You half expect the onscreen character to break the third wall and wordlessly offer you a smoke, then ignore you for several minutes.

It’s this bridging of the gap between viewer and story that makes Jarmusch’s films so engaging. It’s all so familiar, even down to the awkward silences. His characters want more out of life, they’re restless and itinerant, but are held back by habit and personal limitations. They strive to stand out from drab surroundings, but struggle to figure out how. They take chances and often fail. They look an awful lot like us, but wear better hats.

There’s a casual, flawed mysticism to life in a Jarmusch film. His stories are moody, philosophical, episodic – often somber and pensive, but full of personality. Cigarette smoke, poetry and gritty music permeate everything. Music often means one song on repeat. His characters have their jam and it seems to serve them well. 

Most of all, Jarmusch knows there’s as much ennui in the city as anywhere. You see his characters on a slow day, even if it’s one of the more eventful days in their life. We’re right there with them, and just as in our lives, significance becomes clearer with time.

Boondocks Film Society
Dazed & Confused at the Drive-In!

The Boondocks Film Society is thrilled to announce our second film event. And it’s a biggie.

Make it your “top priority of the summer” to come out to the Four Brothers Drive-In in Amenia, NY on Tuesday, June 13th for Richard Linklater’s 1993 teen-movie tour de force DAZED & CONFUSED!

That’s right, Dazed and Confused at the drive-in! What’s more, we’ll have Dutchess County’s own Donny & the Drag (donnydinero.bandcamp.com) kicking off a pre-film kegger on the drive-in’s back lawn, with four incredible Kent Falls beers on tap. Sort through jalapeno burgers, tip back movie-themed craft cocktails, satisfy your munchies with Four Brothers’ extensive menu and take home a free custom event poster designed by Kent Falls bottle illustrator Dan Hamilton.

Because we anticipate an extremely high demand for advance tickets, we’ll hold a pre-sale for Boondocks Film Society members and friends before offering tickets to the general public. Stay tuned for details on how to get your tickets!

Arizona Dream Event Schedule and Additional Details

81 hours and counting until the Arizona Dream film event. Those of you who have been waiting for the ideal moment to buy your tickets, this is it! Save $2 per person if you buy now versus at the door. Here are details on the night's schedule:

6:30pm: Pre-party (also BYOB) for those hardy enough to start early and rock well into the night.
7:15pm: The event begins with a BYOB happy hour, a pre-show reel of related music videos and interviews, as well as food available at very reasonable prices from When Pigs Fly South in Sharon.
8:00pm: The film begins.

Parking: There's a big lot behind the theater that's accessible either from the driveway between the North Canaan Library and the Salisbury Bank & Trust on Main Street, or from the driveway marked 'Municipal Parking' just North of the theater on Railroad Street. Please try to use this back lot rather than parking on the street or using the lots on the side of the theater or across the street.

Drink: If you don't already have your BYOB situation sorted, you get to North Canaan and you've forgotten to stop, please know that the Cordial Shop just North of the theater has you covered. Also, for those who don't partake, there will be nonalcoholic beverages for sale, along with candy and popcorn. 'Cause, ya know, it's the movies.

Other: Don't forget to bring ID as we will have to issue wristbands for the BYOB element of the event.

Alright. See y'all there!