starring Gary Green, Chanelle De Jager, Bianka Hartenstein, Sean Cameron Michael
written and directed by Ryan Kruger
by Walter Chaw South African hyphenate Ryan Kruger's debut Fried Barry is just really fucking delightful, an amalgamation of The Greasy Strangler and John McNaughton's unfairly-forgotten The Borrower. The glue that seals the grimy, appalling parts together is, of all things, E.T.. It's in that juncture between the obscene and the profound where Fried Barry finds its singular genius as a creature so foul that when it suddenly, briefly, becomes Save the Green Planet! but with the victim/protagonist/antihero the saviour of a group of girls held in a pedophile's torture dungeon, what already defied description suddenly becomes... Is it art? At least it's useful, cogent, maybe brilliant surrealism in that by turning into something familiar, all of the bizarreness racks into focus as a critique of the conventions of our popular entertainments. Why, for instance, is E.T., a film about an alien symbiote attached to a child nearly to the point of killing the child, so beloved a family classic? Look, you're either with it, or you're decidedly not. But if you're in, so is Fried Barry. Oh, mate, Fried Barry is emphatically in.