“If you do not love film…
If you do not wish to devour it as it devours you…If all you seek from film is entertainment…This is not the book for you.“
I would have considered myself a cinephile before reading this (at least an amateur one) but wow, this book tests you. And not just in film knowledge but also in genre knowledge. Because of course there are tons of elements to a film considered to be horror from abuse to assault to actual murder but, be honest, were you counting snuff films in there? And no, this isn’t a book about snuff films. I’m just saying this book is HUGE in its 334 pages. You’re reading between a screen play, the daily activities of “The Addicts” and their endeavor to find the great Borgia films, and their not-so-secret guilty pleasure of “flixing” to movies which is basically a drug-trip on actual film to enhance the movie experience.
This book is intense. Following several characters, we are led through film school days to each character’s work in the film industry and back to the present. But first, we do start with a scene from a snuff film, so well written and disturbing it’s like you’re in the room watching. A Borgia film perhaps? And then present day, meet Chris Balun, who was there for the original Borgia film viewing that drove a mob of angry film viewers so insane that he locked them inside the building and set it on fire. And Alyce who “sold out” to work in Hollywood…until she made enough money to buy the old film school dorm and get all The Addicts back together down the line. And Boone who is working in a film storage facility to locate and steal the long locked away and largely forgotten Borgia films for an Addicts only viewing. Everyone has so much going on but it all leads back to one thing: watching the Borgia films in their horrific gore, in the right order (hint: not numerical), to either go insane or reach cinematic enlightenment.
My favorite part was the ending because like most movies it’s what pulls all the craziest aspects together. But more than that, like most films, after the end comes the deleted scenes and these deleted scenes were top notch. From erotic to splicing into other movies to live machines that seduce and consume their operators to B-flick movie stars and their mysterious disappearances. Once I reached the second half of this book, after all the intentionally-all-over-the-place scenes of the first half, I couldn’t put it down. Especially as it goes from set up and character development to the action and horror scenes. I mean, this book has completely affected me from making waking moments to my dreams. Mike Watts has successfully spliced into my dreams and there has been some F-d up stuff. I’ll be honest, that’s normal. But he did add a special horrific angle.
Hot Splices is complicated and enticing and so captivating. It sets you up to follow multiple characters from their film obsession origins to their final actions upon completing their life’s work: finding, watching, living the Borgia films. You are not just reading this book, you are a part of it. You are spliced in and viewing as an extra alongside the main crew. Reading Hot Splices is like learning a new language. You’ll see what I mean when you start dreaming in cinema. How much blood and death will you see when you close this book each night only to close your eyes and continue the story in your nightmares?
Through the production company, Happy Cloud Pictures, he has written and produced or directed the award-winning feature film The Resurrection Game, as well as Splatter Movie: The Director’s Cut, A Feast of Flesh, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation and the award-winning Razor Days.
He is the author of the short fiction collection, Phobophobia, the novels The Resurrection Game and Suicide Machine, and from McFarland Publishing: Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve and No Self-Restraint. In 2014, he launched the acclaimed Movie Outlaw book series, focusing on “underseen cinema”. He is also the editor-in-chief of the bi-annual publication, Exploitation Nation.
Through Happy Cloud Media, LLC, he edits and publishes 42nd Street Pete’s Grindhouse Purgatory Magazine, as well as Pete’s autobiography, “A Whole Bag of Crazy”.
In 2017, he edited the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD novelization by John Russo, and the 40th Anniversary printing of Paul Schrader’s TAXI DRIVER screenplay, featuring a new interview with Robert De Niro, published in 2018 by Gauntlet Press.