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Ryan Kruger
Gary Green, Chanelle de Jager, Brett Williams
Ryan Kruger

Aliens take control of Barry's body to check out Earth.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 10/5/2021

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Ryan Kruger, Director of Photography Gareth Place and Producer James C. Williamson
• “The Making of Fried Barry” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• Short Film
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Outtakes
• Advertisements
• “’How To’ with Barry” Clip
• Alternate Trailer


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Fried Barry [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 29, 2021)

With so many entries in the genre, movies about aliens need to work hard to find something new to say. 2021’s Fried Barry attempts its own take on the topic via its “R”-rated mix of comedy, horror and sci-fi.

Barry (Gary Green) lives a life of drugs and abuse. This changes when visitors from space abduct him after another substance-filled night.

When Barry returns to Cape Town, he lacks control over his own body, as one of the extra-terrestrials uses his carcass as a way to observe mankind. This pushes “Barry” through a wild series of events as his alien master gets acquainted with Earth.

On the cover of this Blu-ray, a blurb from a critic promises that Fried Barry will offer “the hard-R version of ET”. I don’t know what movie the guy from “Den of Geek” saw, but it can’t have been this one.

Sure, both Fried and ET involve aliens who get accustomed with Earth culture, but the comparisons largely end there. Oh, we can find a couple other similarities between Barry and ET, but the two really don’t come across as siblings.

Fried does wear other influences on its sleeve, though. At the very least, we can get an Invasion of the Body Snatchers vibe, and rather than ET, the movie comes across more like a seedy version of Starman. “Alien Barry” can feel like the “Edgar” character from Men in Black as well.

The biggest difference between Fried and those other movies stems from narrative choices. While the films I mention all offered clear plots, Fried becomes much more of an experimental piece without much in terms of story development.

As such, Fried often adds up to little more than a collection of scenes. We follow events that occur to Alien Barry but these fail to connect in a meaningful manner, so don’t expect anything that resembles narrative development.

“Alien Barry” does change as a character through the course of the film, so that counts for something, I suppose. Still, the random impression of the story gives the tale such a loose feel that we don’t bond with “Alien Barry” in a legitimate way, and we never really invest in what we see.

Fried started life as a short film – found elsewhere on this disc – and those origins seem apparent as I watch the feature version. Fried comes across like the germ of an idea that comes with enough substance for a brief project but not enough to go past that.

It doesn’t help that the original Fried offered a really short film, as it went less than four minutes. The decision to expand the story to 102 minutes means that those involved need to go well beyond the prior tale’s parameters.

Fried just can’t offer enough substance to keep us with it. While it stabs at social commentary, it never feels especially insightful, and too much of it comes across as slow filler.

Perhaps a different version of this story could become something more interesting. Unfortunately, Fried Barry seems too random and pointless to succeed.

Footnote: a tag scene appears after the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Fried Barry appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a reasonably good image.

Sharpness was usually fine. Some minor soft shots appeared occasionally, but the majority of the flick brought fairly positive delineation.

No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors followed a stylized path, with a lot of the usual orange and teal, though other hues like garish yellows/reds/greens also materialized. These looked fine given the design choices.

Blacks were reasonably dark, whereas shadows could be a bit murky. The image merited a “B-“.

I found a decent experience from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though it didn’t give us a ton of information. Music dominated, as the score occupied the five channels in an engulfing manner.

Effects lacked as much to do, though. Some violent scenes boasted better involvement, but these elements rarely became especially prominent in the mix.

Audio quality worked fine, with dialogue that remained natural and concise. Music was bold and full.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with good range and punch. The mix lost some points due to a semi-lackluster soundscape, but it was still worth a “B”.

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Ryan Kruger, director of photography Gareth Place and producer James C. Williamson. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, sets and locations, cinematography, effects, music, stunts, cast and performances, influences and related domains.

The commentary tends to break into three categories: production insights, praise for the film, and general chitchat. At times, we get some good material, but the overall package feels a bit blah.

Some video features follow, and The Making of Fried Barry goes for 14 minutes 42 seconds. It brings notes from Kruger, Williamson, Place, composer/sound designer Haezer, production designer Monica Rosie, and actor Sean Cameron Michael.

“Making” discusses the movie’s origins and development, Kruger’s impact on the production, music and audio, production design and photography, cast and performances.

Though not an especially coherent take on the flick, “Making” comes with a few good notes. We get too much happy talk but some useful elements materialize along the way.

Behind the Scenes lasts three minutes, 54 seconds and shows shots from the set accompanied by snippets of the film’s score. It plays as a kind of music video and it never becomes interesting.

Fried Barry first came to life via a 2017 short film, and it appears here. It lasts three minutes, 54 seconds and features Green as the lead just like in the feature version.

With so little time at its disposal, one shouldn’t expect a plot. Instead, the short film shows a montage of freaky shots of Green as Barry. It’s weird and pointless other than as a demo reel, I guess.

Six Deleted & Extended Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 39 seconds. The longest – “Drug Guru” – runs three minutes, nine seconds, whereas the shortest – “Bone Crusher” – lasts a mere 18 seconds. All the rest span between 42 and 54 seconds.

“Guru” offers an extremely annoying character who explains all the drugs Barry takes. It’s less one specific scene and more a bunch of additions that would’ve popped up throughout the film. I’m exceedingly happy these irritating segments got the boot.

As for the rest, they prove less obnoxious but not any more valuable. They lack much purpose of entertainment.

A collection of Outtakes fill four minutes, three seconds. This reel shows the usual bloopers and never seems especially compelling.

Under Adverisements, we get three clips: “Cigarette Advertisement” (0:23), “Condom Advertisement” (0:44) and “Have a ‘Barry’ Advertisement” (0:34). These create fake promos that use Barry as pitchman. They’re more engaging than anything in the actual film.

”How to” With Barry breaks into another three segments: “How to Give a Blowjob” (1:51), “How to Use Your Hands” (1:31), and “How to Use a Condom” (0:59). All three offer Barry’s “advice” on sex-related topics. If I never see Green perform simulated sex acts again, it’ll be too soon.

Finally, we end with an alternate trailer. Because no other trailer appears on the disc, it seems unclear what it’s an alternate to, but it’s all we find.

As a dark story of an alien on Earth, Fried Barry manages an unusual entry in its genre. Unfortunately, it fails to find much development or purpose, so it feels more like a random collection of events than a real narrative. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio as well as a decent roster of bonus materials. Fried seems too long and too disjointed to work.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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