Better Know a Reject: Meet Benji Carver

One of the things we take great pride in around here is having a sense of community. We love the amount of discourse that occurs in our comments section, thanks in great part to the diversity of our readership. Another way we create a wonderful community is by bringing on some of the best writers around — fresh voices from folks who have an intense passion for film and all the things that go with it. They are the discussion starters, the instigators and (we hope) the reason our beloved readers come back every single day. And in order to help you get to know all of these faces of FSR, we’ve devised Better Know a Reject, our new series of articles dedicated to connecting you with our staff, both new and old. We begin with the new. And by new, I’m referring to our newest contributor Benji Carver.

Benji Carver came to us in the night, ready and willing to take on even the greatest task — so we started by having him lead our Sundance 2011 coverage. No pressure. Much of our editorial staff was excited just to have someone on staff whose name was Benji (that’s Rob Hunter’s selection process, for you), but when he told us of his love for any American New Wave movie from 1967 to 1980. Or the fact that if it’s a biker flick, spaghetti western, blaxplotation, or 80s teen dramedy, he’d their in a heartbeat. Or that his guilty pleasures include the classic Universal Horror Movies of the 30s and 40s plus the classic gore of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Or that he watches The Three Stooges to cool down when his movie watching life gets too overwhelming. We were really excited, as you might imagine. We also dig his writing. The guy’s got style.

The following is a Q&A I conducted with Benji. A little something to help you better know this Reject…

Why did you want to write for Film School Rejects, as opposed to some other, more respectable publication?

In a world where hipsters, PC comments, and film snobbery have taken over the internet I have found Film School Rejects has an unabashed quality to world wide web of film commentary and journalism. I also think they can handle my obsession of Jean Claude Van Damme.

What is your first movie memory?

When Beetlejuice popped out of his grave.

What unique qualities will readers of Film School Rejects find in your writing? What do you bring to the table?

There is no genre or film I will not watch unless it is Ratatouille or Fireproof.

I try to find those lost gems that audience to tend to ignore or have forgotten like the docudrama The Exiles from 1961, the exploitation of Fight For Your Life, the Thai drama Last Life in the Universe, or the recent meta-action flick JCVD.

At the same time I relish in the film spectator-ship of terribly great films like BeBe’s Kids, Street Fighter, Cecil B. Demented, and Crank, something that has always turned the heads of my fellow writers and friends. I tear up just a little every time I hear the speech of General Guile to the troops in Street Fighter.

Sometimes if a movie is truly terrible or even great, I like to give it a special review that might be in the rhythm of a song, 10 reasons why it is the holy grail/why it needs to die a horrible horrible death, or an observation of how that particular audience reacted to the movie.

If you had to defend yourself, would you rather have Freddy’s claws, Bond’s pistol, or Rosebud the sled?

Bond’s pistol because that’s how smooth you kill a motherfucka’ but it would be Richard Roundtree or Fred Williamson holding the gun and the girl .

If you were forced to choose only one movie to recommend to everyone you ever meet for the rest of your life, what movie would that be, and why?

Stranger Than Paradise, it is something to truly behold and gets richer every time I see it. Simple, hilarious, and full of unexpected moments. The music by John Lurie and Screamin Jay Hawkins is fucking haunting and bittersweet.

What is your number one passion outside the world of movies?

I’m always down for a road trip.

What do you love about movies?

“Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are rape, ultra-violence, and Beethoven.”- A Clockwork Orange. That sums up everything I love about the movies.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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