Fry’s Electronics Stars in Nope

Fry’s Electronics Stars in Nope

Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is one of the weirdest, weird ass UFO movie I’ve ever seen. The weirdest thing in that movie was Fry’s Electronics. Why would a zombie retailer that closed in February 2021 be in a UFO movie in July 2022?

Fry’s Electronics – Zombie Retailer

If you haven’t paid attention to Fry’s Electronics in recent years, here’s a short history lesson.

Fry’s was a Silicon Valley big box retailer founded in 1985. The chain’s sales moto in the early years was buying potato chips with your silicon chips. Not surprising since the founders were the sons of the founder of Fry’s Food Stores. Fry’s was the go-to place for electronics and junk food for a generation of techies.

Fry’s became a zombie retailer after announcing the closure of the Palo Alto store in September 2019. The announcement prompted people to visit their local store. Some—like myself—for the first time in years. The empty parking lots, the bare shelves, and the always unhelpful employees were quite noticeable.

Fry’s continued to shut down stores throughout the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020. The store closures were almost always tied to a real estate deal. The Duluth, Georgia, store, for example, became a pre-owned car dealership.

The biggest real estate deal was the San Jose headquarters approved for redevelopment into a six-building tech campus. Unlike the other stores, the founders owned the land underneath the headquarters. Fry’s Electronics shut down all 30 existing locations the very next day in February 2021.

Fry’s Electronics – Movie Star

Why was Fry’s Electronics in “Nope”?

Director Jordan Peele came from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has featured prominent bay area locales in his other movies. Like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in “Us”.

“Nope” got made after Fry’s shut down in 2021. That became a bit obvious in the movie.

If you’re making a UFO movie set in Southern California, the Burbank store with the crashed UFO in front was an obvious choice. Most Fry’s stores have a custom theme to make each one unique.

The outside shot had the main characters talking inside their truck. I have no doubt that all the other vehicles in the parking lot belonged to the filming crew. No one was seen walking in or out of the store.

The inside shot has the main characters walking a shopping cart. The shelves had some stuff, a few store employees lingering in the background, and no other customers nearby. It’s unclear if those scenes were shot on location or a sound stage.

The Fry’s employee that deals with the main characters also does double duty as a tech installer. Not surprisingly, this employee knows a thing or two about UFOs (i.e., metal probes up the ass).

This wasn’t the first time that Fry’s got featured in a movie. “The War with Grandpa” got filmed at the Atlanta, Georgia, store in 2017. Several years before Fry’s became a zombie retailer.

Nope – The Movie

I do consider “Nope” to be a UFO movie rather than a horror movie. My biggest concern going into this movie was horse mutilations. Animal mutilations are a part of UFO lore. Mostly cattle, sometimes horse.

The good news is that there are no animal mutilations in this movie. People do get grinded up into a bloody slurry that the UFO sprays out over the ranch house. The people grinding takes place off screen.

“Nope” reminded me of “The Return” from 1980. Two kids and an old man get abducted by a UFO in small New Mexico town. Twenty-five years later, the small town has a series of cattle mutilations. Something weird was going on. But not as weird as what took place in “Nope”.

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