Julien Neaves, Editor
I have seen many films in my almost 40 years on this planet, and most of them can be easily filed in various categories. But every now and again there comes a movie like Fried Barry that kicks down the file cabinet, throws out all the files, and takes a big old crap all over your convenient categorisation.
Based on the 2017 short of the same name, the South African film is an insane blend of Sci Fi, black comedy, horror and thriller. Directed and co-written by Ryan Kruger, Fried Barry tells the story of the eponymous character, a heroin addict and small-time drug dealer who treats his wife like trash and ignores his young son. After a drug binge his body is hijacked by an alien, and the extraterrestrial takes his body on an odyssey of partying, sex, drugs, violence, and some extreme Sci Fi craziness. Here is my review with mild spoilers:
Firstly I have to talk about actor Gary Green as Barry. Oh my goodness, gracious me. The man throws his all into the alien-wearing-gaunt-human-body suit. Alien Barry does not talk much (other than repeating a few key phrases) so most of the acting is in his sunken, expressive eyes, bizarre expressions, and odd physical movements. Green is just pitch perfect and carries the film well. The other cast members pop in and out of the story but they are all solid and believable.
Another standout in the film is the visual style and imagery. I have never done drugs but this feels like the cinematic equivalent of a heavy trip. You are bombarded by creepy imagery, flashing lights and discordant sounds. The audience really gets sucked in to Barry’s wild experience.
And the plot? Well that is the craziest thing of all. You will be using the term “what the hell?” repeatedly during this movie. There is no way to predict what maddening misadventure Barry will get into next. Sometimes Barry is the weird one, sometimes it’s the situation he’s in. Some of his experiences are comedic, some are horrifying, and some are surprisingly sweet. But all are so engaging you will be unable to peel your eyes off until the final credits.
Fried Barry is not a film you watch; it is a film you experience. And it truly is a movie experience unlike any other.
Julien’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
I’m not even sure what to recommend if you liked Fried Barry because I don’t think we have anything like it in our more than 650 articles. So I’ll just point you to our Sci Fi section here and our Thriller section here.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”.
I can also be found posting on Instagram as redmanwriter and talking about TV and movie stuff on Facebook at Movieville.