SCHLOCK: The Weird, Wild, and Wonderful World of Red Letter Media

If you’re one of the rare breed of people who love a combination of in-depth film critique and analysis, off-the-wall campiness with a dash of wry humor, and binge-worthy YouTube channels, then Red Letter Media is just the thing for you.

I first stumbled across Red Letter Media when Mike Stoklasa’s The Phantom Menace review was just beginning to go viral in early 2010. If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching this internet masterpiece then do yourself a favor and watch this video ASAP.

img_8332-1In the review, Stoklasa assumes the persona of Harry S. Plinkett (a monotone, Star Wars-obsessed schlub). Through a series of interviews, behind the scenes clips, and an illuminating deconstruction of storytelling,  Mr. Plinkett reveals the extremely dark side of The Phantom Menace.

Honestly, I’ve watched this review too many times to count. It is at times touching, laugh out loud funny, and highly quotable. I often find myself, in my best Mr. Plinkett impression, reciting many of the memorable catchphrases. “Anybody want a pizza roll? Leave a comment on this webzone if you want a pizza role.” “It’s like poetry…it rhymes.” “OH MY GAWD!” “What’s wrong with your face?”

After every viewing of Mr. Plinkett’s The Phantom Menace review I feel like I’ve learned how not to make a movie. It’s so unique that it must be seen to be experienced.

Mr. Plinkett also has terrific reviews of Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, the Star Trek: TNG feature films, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Baby’s Day Out to name a few.

Stoklasa and Red Letter Media co-founder, Jay Bauman, host Half in the Bag; an homage to Siskel & Ebert with a touch of terrible 80s sitcom triteness. These reviews mainly consist of a conversation between Stoklasa and Bauman, both portraying VCR repairmen, connected by a loose and extraneous plot that connects each episode to the next. A good jumping off point would be their recent review of Ghostbusters (2016).

I’m also a gigantic fan of Best of the Worst. This is a show where Stoklasa and Bauman are joined by several friends, they watch three B-grade movies, and then decide which movie is the best of the worst. The worst movie at the end of each episode is destroyed in a highly dramatic and farcical manner.

And then there’s that hack fraud known as Rich Evans. He’s a gaffe-prone friend and frequent guest of Stoklasa and Bauman on Half in the Bag and their newest venture re:View (a review show for movie classics). Evans always adds his special brand of uber-nerd perspective with just the right amount of buffoonery.

Red Letter Media is an intelligent Mystery Science Theater 3000 featuring a menagerie of misfits, inside jokes, and pointed commentary for the internet age.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

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