Drug Binge: Sickle's take on "Fried Barry"

Fried Barry follows a drug addict/dealer in South Africa who becomes possessed by an alien entity that proceeds to go on an all-night frenetic tour of Cape Town in his body, exposing itself to sex, drugs and violence as it learns about humankind.


[This movie was viewed on Shudder at the time of this review.]

Fried Barry Review


If Fried Barry is anything, it's unique. The premise tackles familiar commentary on the state of humanity, particularly its seedier locales that tend to be housed within the larger cities of the world. But it does so with a scifi/horror/comedy twist, utilizing alien abduction and possession to answer the age-old question..."what would an alien think of us if it looked upon humanity with no context?"


The answer is a state of utter bewilderment, perhaps. Kudos should be given to lead Gary Green who plays the titular Barry. Say what you will about the entirety of this film, but Green gives a performance that would leave one to believe he is an out-of-body alien experiencing Earth in all its darkest forms. Essentially what this means is he looks like a mute man tripping on drugs after living the first 50 years of his life in a bunker.


A good portion of the runtime does feel like you are just watching a man stare at the camera blankly or make silly faces. Yeah, that about sums up most of Fried Barry when it isn't trying to progress some of semblance of a story amidst its original yet directionless plot. We are perhaps supposed to inevitably feel some sense of silver lining about the human race, that we are redeemable at some point, but after the disgusting and weird journey is concluded, you just feel gross, a little bored, and maybe even a tad confused at the point of it all.


Some of the point may be that there is no point. We each take our own paths to happiness, and for some that leads them down a path of drugs which often eventually leads to some darker roads of life. We get a good glimpse at a large chunk of humanity's vices, but there rarely feels like there is anything to be gleaned from the experiences. I think we're supposed to be laughing most of the time. In fact, a majority of the film feels like one big shock laugh.


This neon horror satire of humanity is another one of those films that is too weird to know how to recommend it. A majority of those I have spoken with about it didn't find it to be their cup of tea. I would gamble that most would feel that way about this film. Even those that find themselves having enjoyed or appreciated it likely would have no interest in watching it again or even recommending it themselves. Like the vices that pervade the runtime, someone may not be terribly inclined to say they enjoyed it.


For me, it's simple...I praise the unique qualities of it, the performance of the lead, and the unashamed glimpses into darker elements of humanity. But my praises end there. I'd sooner not expose someone to it than take the chance that they may enjoy it.


Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 7/10

Horror Quality: 4/10

Film Quality: 5/10


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