I tend to embrace all things unconventional, but even I don’t know who “Fried Barry” was made for. Quite frankly, I don’t even want to imagine who the audience would be for this bonkers movie. While I was watching this one, I kept having flashbacks to my time spent in film school, suffering through the experimental projects from black-clad, would-be auteurs who claimed they could find their creative spark only when high, and who fancied themselves the next David Lynch or David Cronenberg (newsflash: they weren’t even close).
The script is loose and feels very sparse. Barry (Gary Green) is a drug-loving degenerate who loves to go on benders. It’s his favorite thing to do until one night when uses a massive amount of illegal substances and is abducted by aliens. After doing some cringe worthy experiments on his body, one of the extraterrestrial visitors takes control of Barry’s body for a joyride through Cape Town. Stunned and excited by the new thrills to experience on Earth, Barry’s inhabited body has a crazed night of violence, sex, and drugs, all at the hands of the alien visitor.
In what is likely the most inspired and pitch-perfect casting of the year, nobody could embody Barry as much as Green. He not only looks the part with his distinctive wild-eyed expressions, but he becomes the character in the most satisfying way. A large part of the reason I didn’t give up on the movie is his performance. There’s something about his disturbing eccentricity that’s super gratifying. While this film is as strange as strange can be, there’s a lot to be admired about director’s Ryan Kruger visual style. There are some scenes that have a real “wow” factor, and he’s extremely talented behind the camera.
I love weird. I love strange. But this bizarro, genre-bending, sci-fi, horror, and comedy hybrid is like a grindhouse film on acid. It’s chaotic, weird, and unsettling in the most unpleasant way. If that description makes you want to check it out, by all means do so. But you’ve been warned that “Fried Barry” is not something for the faint of heart.
By: Louisa Moore