It’s over 20 years since River Phoenix died of a drugs overdose outside the Viper Room in LA. At the time he was shooting the movie Dark Blood, which had to be abandoned in the wake of his death.
At least it was initially, but a few years ago director George Sluizer (Vanishing) picked up the footage again to see whether there was anything he could do with it. That involved completely reworking the story as only about 65% of the movie was ever filmed, as well as trying to explain Phoenix’s absence from chunks of the movie.
The film premiered last year to a mixed response, and should now be getting a release we can all view soon.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘Dark Blood tells the story of Boy (River Phoenix) a young widower who retreats to the desert after his wife dies of radiation following nuclear tests near their home. Boy is waiting for the end of the world and carves Katchina dolls that supposedly contain magical powers. Harry (Jonathan Pryce) and Buffy (Judy Davis) travel to the desert on a second honeymoon in an attempt to save their marriage. Their Bentley breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the couple is rescued by Boy. Boy holds them prisoner because of his desire for the woman and his ambition to create a better world with her.’