Fried Barry, 2020.
Directed by Ryan Kruger.
Starring Gary Green, Chanelle de Jager, Bianka Hartenstein, Sean Cameron Michael, Joe Vaz and Jonathan Pienaar.
The drug addict returns to the ground, inside the foreign visitor after the abduction.
Fried Barry opens up a twist to the famous Simon Bates messages, which were played at the beginning of 18 classified videotapes, warning viewers of specific content to come. It’s a clear statement from a prolific short film director – and for the first time film director – Ryan Kruger, who is nodding into the world of cult horror films and bloodthirsty grindhouse films from the 1980s. What he has created is no doubt a dive into the vortex of darkness, but it remains to be seen whether it will really achieve anything.
The name character is played by actor Gary Green from a stuntman in a brazen, distorting performance where the word “physical” seems to be a huge understatement. When we meet him, he is a heroin addict who changes his marriage obligation to his wife Suz (Chanelle de Jager) and their young son. After his most recent correction, he is abducted by aliens who examine him without delay in every opening – genuinely, in every – and return him to Earth with an extraterrestrial visitor who would seemingly show the world through his eyes. For some reason, Barry then starts having sex, violence, and even more drug use Odyssey is losing more and more of its grip on any kind of reality.
Unfortunately, there is little substance in Kruger’s chaos. The film, based on the 2017 Kruger acronym of the same name, progresses only shy of the two-hour grotesque vignettes that Kruger delays in offering a barely assembled plot. The actors mostly improvise dialogue and blocking, which is reflected in the haphazard mood of the story. Not to mention that everyone Barry meets seems to want to have sex despite his worried appearance and lack of enthusiasm. The rest of them want to hit him in the face or pull his teeth. Fried Barry is an experience reminiscent of filthy bathing, and after about an hour even that novelty is worn to boredom.
In many ways, it’s the most frustrating thing about a movie. It’s so desperate to be there and wild that, like so many recent Nicolas Cage movies, it forgets the infrastructure necessary to make such a project. Kruger has said that he “went on to make a cult-style film,” which seems like a problem. Cult films are the result of accidents, coincidences and discoveries, not cynical calibration. They grow and pamper and go to the label instead of being born into it. There is a reason Room is a sincere cult film, while Sharknado franchising is seen as tired and cynical.
Fried Barry be sure to throw everything on the wall. The music and soundscape combined by electronic dance artist Haezer are an ambitious cacophony, although the film is relied on too often. Whenever there is silence in the carnage, Kruger simply turns the knob and accelerates the volume of the music. The effect is intentionally oppressive, but like almost everything else, it has no content. It doesn’t seem to have anything to say, “Weren’t the 80’s Cult Movies great?”
The bright point is, in some ways, Green’s performance. While his actors leave much to be desired, his commitment and physical invention cannot be denied. It’s a show that requires 100 percent effort, and Green is sure to produce in that regard, throwing himself into every crazy set and drug-used dance session with a considerable applause. It’s just a shame that the rest Fried Barry unable to fulfill his effort.
Flickering myth rating – Movie: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Tom Beasley is a freelance film journalist and wrestling fan. Follow him On Twitter via @TomJBeasley for film opinions, wrestling issues, and dictionaries.