Written by Joel Morris, Jason Hazeley,Marc Haynes and Will Maclean
Directed by Al Campbell
A comedy about film, men, and fatherhood.
When Dilip Gull was small, his father – forced into the only day of childcare he would ever do during his son’s boyhood – took him to see a film. A film about real men. A film made by real men, who had more than likely drunk real alcohol before, during, and after shooting. A film that, in all honesty, was not at all age-appropriate for a seven year old. That film – a low-budget British action film about a group of mercenaries on a mission to Africa – was called Deep Fried Bastards, and Dilip remembers it being the most exciting, most enthralling, most grown-up film he’d ever seen.
Fast forward to now, and 37-year-old Dilip is a film-maker himself, having made a serious documentary about the Iranian National Ballet that won an award. It’s only natural that, as a director, Dilip would want to view again the wonderful film that started him on his journey as an auteur. But Dilip’s in for a shock – he discovers that all copies of Deep Fried Bastards are missing, presumed destroyed.
And so Dilip sets out on a soul-searching quest for the last surviving print of the film, accompanied only by courage, determination, and a small documentary crew. However, circumstances around Dilip are changing rapidly, and the clock’s ticking for him and his quest – his wife Priti is pregnant with their first child, and his father’s health is failing. It’s the perfect timing for Dilip to freak out, but disguise that freaking out as a soul-searching directorial quest – to find and view the film that made him the man he is today, in the company of his dad, who’s indifferent at best to the whole endeavour.
Deep Fried Bastards is a film about inadequate fathers, inadequate films, and the disproportionate amount of attention we lavish on something we’re told we can’t have.