Dark Blood on the Viper Room floor

by Chronograph Post

Dark Blood, will always be known as the film that never was; the film that met a cataclysmic end on the sidewalk outside notable LA hotspot, The Viper Room.

The occasion of course was the untimely death of River phoenix, the actor who collapsed outside the aforementioned venue from drug induced heart failure. The film was the late actor’s then-current project, that on the day of his death was only days from completion.

20 years later, reels of the uncompleted film were recently shown at the Berlin Film Festival. The original Director of the project, George Sluizer has since ‘completed’ the film by embedding voice overs over the rushes that Phoenix himself did not finish.

Having been warmly received by critics at the Berlin Film Festival it would be great to see this work released to a wider audience (at the approval of the Phoenix family, naturally) From what reports suggest, Dark Blood is an astounding project, exhibiting the supreme talent and charm of the young actor. The film, cut short, like Phoenix’s own life proves even more poignant than a scenario in which his passing had occurred after wrapping – the rawness of a grand film ripped of its finale is a stamp of what came to pass for this truly talented actor.

River Phoenix

Phoenix as Chris Chambers in the Epic Stand by Me (1986) Reiner, Rob