Home » Ryan Kruger on Fried Barry [Exclusive Interview]

Ryan Kruger on Fried Barry [Exclusive Interview]

Ryan Kruger

Fried Barry releases on VOD, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-Ray on October 5. The film originally premiered in the U.S. on Shudder back in May, as the second feature in an episode of Joe Bob’s Last Drive In. But physical media often has more to offer. Bonus features on the upcoming home video release include a filmmaker commentary, the original Fried Barry short film, a making of featurette, deleted and extended scenes, and some hilarious advertisements and instructional videos starring Barry. Director Ryan Kruger recently sat down with us to discuss the film, how depression can work as a form of motivation, and so much more.  

Also See: Fried Barry Is An Alien Abduction Acid Test [Fantasia Review]

Wicked Horror: Do you have a way of describing Fried Barry for those who haven’t seen it yet or maybe haven’t heard of it?

Ryan Kruger: Yeah. I think Fried Barry is definitely an experience. I think that’s probably the best way to describe it. People that watch the trailer, I would say, it’s everything that is in the trailer but a hell of a lot more that you do not expect to be in the movie itself.

Wicked Horror: When did you first see films as an art form, rather than as just entertainment, with people working behind the scenes?

Ryan Kruger: Well, I started at an early age. I actually started with acting first and then I got into directing. Growing up as a kid in the eighties. Loving eighties cinema. All types of cinema, as well. Japanese films. French films. It’s always been a big part of my life growing up. I think there’s nothing better thinking back where…How old are you now, Zach?

Wicked Horror: I just turned forty this year.

Ryan Kruger: Forty. Right. So the thing is like when we were kids and went to the video shop and your mom or your dad would take you to that video shop. Actually, it wouldn’t be your mom a lot of the time it would be your dad. Your mom wouldn’t want to come because you would spend hours there. So you’d go with your dad. He’d say you could pick a film. And you and your brother or sister would go there and spend ages looking at all the video boxes. It was such a big thing. And the best was when your dad would let you pick two and you would be in there for hours. The kids these days now have Netflix and it’s just not the same. It’s just that love of art house films. You don’t always have to have dialogue. The story’s still there but it’s an experience. And it’s a feeling. And it’s making the audience feel something. Whether you feel sorry for a character when you take them on this wacky journey. I would say Fried Barry is very much like a road trip movie without the car. But Barry’s the car. And as the audience goes along with this journey as him or with him, by the end of the film it’s like “What the fuck did I just watch? I feel dirty and I need a shower.”

Wicked Horror: (laughing) It is very much like a road trip movie through Cape Town. Do you have advice for new filmmakers who might want to consider Cape Town as a place to start one of their productions?

Ryan Kruger: Yeah. You see the thing is Cape Town, believe it or not, is a really beautiful place. But in Fried Barry it looks horrible. And I did that on purpose because everything that gets shot here, the majority of the time, is to show off all the amazing locations that we have here. We have a lot of overseas movies and TV series that come here because we have places that look like Mexico or Italy or Spain or New York. We have all these different places. Cape Town is amazing. It’s actually one of the biggest places in the world for commercials. We have people come here shooting all the time because of the locations. So I think with Fried Barry I probably fucked up the Cape Town tourism. I obviously concentrated on the dark side of Cape Town. And it’s like any city in the world. You have the good areas and you have the bad areas. And that’s like anywhere in the world. So I think for filmmakers to come to South Africa to film… If you research it, there are many films that get shot here and it’s because we have so many amazing locations. Especially in Cape Town. You can go twenty minutes out of town and you’ve got this place that could look like Scotland. You can go the opposite direction or area and it looks like Italy or Greece. It’s definitely a great place to shoot and you get your money’s worth.

Wicked Horror: Is Gary Green now a bonafide movie star in South Africa after Fried Barry?

Ryan Kruger: The funny thing is lots of people know about Fried Barry in South Africa with the advertising that we’ve done. We’ve played a few festivals here, but the film actually comes out next month in Cape Town. I’ll be walking down the street with Gary and people will come up to us and say they’ve seen the trailer or the original short film. It’s been interesting.

Wicked Horror: You’ve mentioned depression as an inspiration of sorts that fueled you to make this movie. What’s inspired you lately over these last two years?

Ryan Kruger: Before I made Fried Barry I went through an awful, horrible time with depression and a lot of other things happened at the same time. Fried Barry itself was born out of that frustration of not making a feature film. Wanting to make a feature film. It was my medicine to get out there and make a film. I’ve always worked hard and been very motivated to do stuff. Definitely I can do it. It’s funny how something great can come out of something so dark and bad. And this type of film was super creative in my own style. When you chase a dream, which for me was Fried Barry, after that you just start chasing another dream. What really inspires me now is to make another film. A film better than the last one. I think that’s what really drives me. Just to tell different stories and think outside the box. My big thing with Fried Barry is that I needed to do something super creative. Super different. And it’s definitely the first of its kind for South African cinema. Because we don’t make these types of movies at all here. You have to understand that thousands and thousands of movies get made every day. Come out every day. There’s different distributors. And lots of films get lost. A big part of my inspiration as well was how can I make a film, whether you love it or hate it, you will remember it and you will talk about it. I find myself going back to old films all the time and rewatching them. When I’m making a film I’m thinking of which scenes are people going to remember. Or what scenes do I want them to remember and talk about. I think it’s a big part of where you have to think outside the box now. We live in a generation of remakes and reboots. People are tired of watching the same shit the majority of the time. 

Wicked Horror: I think you definitely accomplished all that with Fried Barry. It truly is an experience and the moment I finished it I wanted to start it immediately again.

Ryan Kruger: That’s cool.

Wicked Horror: I’ve got a couple quick, random questions I wanted to ask at the end here. What’s a movie soundtrack you listen to outside of watching the film?

Ryan Kruger: I love the Interstellar soundtrack. And the Blade Runner soundtrack is pretty cool.

Wicked Horror: Freddy versus Jason. Who wins in your version?

Ryan Kruger: Definitely Freddy.

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