Barry (Gary Green), to put it politely, is not a lovely human being. He is a heavy drug addict and has no interests in looking after his current partner and only child, all of whom live in a small rundown home. Visiting a local pub, Barry catches up with a mate and does some more drugs, eventually walking home utterly high and filled with alcohol.
During his walk home, a bright light appears in the night sky. Barry is abducted by aliens and taken aboard an alien spaceship. Based on a series of screenshots and flashes, we have an understanding that an alien is now the owner of Barry’s body and has complete control. Barry will now roam the streets with other humans, partying, doing drugs, having sex, and generally observing human life within Cape Town. Everything Barry does moving forward will have tense, shocking and even unsettling consequences.
Fried Barry was initially made as a short film featuring the same actor and director. The short film was so well received, it was only a matter of time until this entire feature-length movie was developed. The director Ryan Kruger is passionate about all things relating to the ’80s, and this is expressed throughout the film from the very start. The director also sneaks in several references to other films which many movie lovers may discover when watching. This was a nice touch.
As a plot, Fried Barry is filled with fun and highly random moments. No scene featuring the leading man is ever predictable. Barry walks around and finds himself in the most unexpected situations, such as visiting a club, dealing with thugs, or going home with a total stranger and so on. Every time Barry goes somewhere or interacts with someone else, we learn more about the new Barry and what he can do, thanks to the unknown alien host who controls him. Granted, some interactions are highly disturbing, and the film most certainly earns its R18 rating when it comes to gore and level of horror.
Actor Gary Green was excellent as Barry. The actor is perfectly cast as a man who has hit rock bottom and now carries an alien inside him. When he meets people or makes discoveries, his facial reactions manage to bring a touch of humour to the screen. It is also believable that he has an alien within him, and this is shown well through minor details such as how he walks and strangely moves his head and neck. Barry is not a massive talker, so it was nice to see his body and facials deliver a positive and tremendous performance. Fried Barry is quite different and unlike anything I have ever seen and certainly brings a new taste for alien movies and horror. I enjoyed the idea that while Barry is highly dangerous, many of his encounters with humans are surprisingly more hazardous than any with aliens from out of space.
Overall, Fried Barry is a wild time. Watching an alien take over the body of a man who is addicted to drugs and disinterested in life itself is an excellent concept in film. Nothing about this film is predictable, and it is filled with tense, shocking and disturbing moments. I enjoyed the film’s tone and visuals, and it’s evident the director is undoubtedly a significant fan of the ’80s and all things retro, which I loved seeing onscreen. Fried Barry is fresh, creative, and messed up in all the right ways as a film. Highly recommended to all horror fans.
Fried Barry (2020) is Available on Shudder from May 7th!