My sister might be overly obsessed with the late River Phoenix and his movies, but there's no question he was a gifted actor whose career was on the rise before he unexpectly passed in 1993. His performance in Rob Reiner's childhood drama Stand by Me is still one of my all-time favorites, so it's with great anticipation that I pass along word that Phoenix's final, unfinished film Dark Blood will be completed and released by its director George Sluizer.
Sluzier reportedly hid the remaining footage from the film after the young actor passed fearing it would get destroyed. An odd yet admirable move to say the least. Here's the director's reason for wanting to release this film 18 years later,
"The Fact is, I suddenly became ill about 4 years ago--an aneurysm--and was told my years could be limited," he wrote. "So I wanted to finish the movie now. It came as an urgency to me, but I also knew there was still good film material."
He re-edited the film and hoped to get some voice over work from Phoenix's brother, Joaquin (maybe you've heard of him) to finish it in time for a Dutch film festival later in the year, but the family has chosen not to take part. Understandably so. For the time being, he's working to raise enough money to get this project off the ground.
In Dark Blood, Phoenix played a paranoid hermit who lives on a nuclear testing site and is waiting for the end of the world. A stranded Hollywood couple (Jonathan Pryce, Judy Davis) stumbles upon his home and an odd love affair is started between the hermit and the wife.
The film looks ok, and should at least provide an interesting last look at Phoenix's final performance. Check out the trailer and see if Dark Blood is something you'll check out when it's finished.