River Phoenix's last film premieres after 20 years
Nearly two decades after his tragic death, River Phoenix's last movie Dark Blood will finally premiere at a Dutch film festival. Dark Blood by Dutch director George Sluizer will screen on 27th September at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht, according to the festival's website.
Sluizer had finished four-fifths of the movie when River, playing one of the three main roles, collapsed and died of a drug-induced heart failure outside a Hollywood nightclub on 31st October1993.
The 86-minute film was left unfinished until 80-year-old Sluizer's deteriorating health prompted him to restart postproduction two years ago, his daughter Anouk Sluizer said. It was finished in January this year.
"My father is ill and he decided to resume the movie's postproduction after almost 20 years," she said, adding, "He had shot about 81% and there was enough material to make a suspenseful movie."
Dark Blood tells the story of a young widower man (played by River) who retreats into the desert to live a reclusive life after his wife dies as a result of nuclear testing. He saves a stranded couple on their honeymoon, only to keep them hostage when he falls in love with the wife (played by Judy Davis).
Because of River's death, Anouk said: "My father had to find a creative solution, about which I cannot say much as there is an element of surprise."
River died aged 23, and at the time was regarded as one of the most promising actors of his generation, together with his peers such as Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. His death was compared to that of another screen legend, James Dean, who perished in a car crash in 1955 at age 24.
Published: 4th August 2012