Monday, February 22, 2010

[Cryptopopology] Dark Blood

Dark Blood

When 23-year-old actor River Phoenix died on Halloween 1993 outside of Hollywood's Viper Room, the victim of a drug overdose--a mixture of cocaine and heroin known as a speedball--he left behind a small legacy of critically acclaimed films including Stand by Me, Mosquito Coast, and My Own Private Idaho. He also left behind an unfinished post-apocalyptic-esque movie entitled Dark Blood.

Although it was approximately 90% complete, Dark Blood was still missing a great number of key scenes that were to involve Phoenix, and so was never finished and never released to the public.

The script was written by the relatively-unknown Jim Barton, The plot (as noted on the IMDB, and confirmed at director George Sluizer's webpage) follows River Phoenix's character, a widower hermit named (imaginatively) Boy who resides on a nuclear testing ground, awaiting the end of the world. He wiles away the hours fashioning dolls that, he believes, possess great magical powers. Boy's self-confinement is interrupted, however, when he is forced to help a couple (played by Jonathon Pryce and Judy Davis) whose car broke down during their sojourn across the desert. It's not as peaceful of a gesture as one might immediately assume, as they both become Boy's prisoners and he announces his desire to use the woman as his Eve to help create a new and better world.

Although there was initial speculation that Sluizer would use the existing footage in a documentary about River Phoenix, legal reasons have prevented that project from ever seeing the light of day. A few minutes of raw footage from Dark Blood have been released to the public, however, a sample of which can be viewed below.

For those who want to see the whole project in your lifetime, it's beginning to look like you are out of luck. The best that you can hope to do is find a theater company (such as The Script Factory) who are performing the film as a stage play--although, from what I can gather, even that has been out of production for more than a decade. This does hint at the fact that the movie script is floating around out there somewhere, though, and a little digging may allow you access to your own private Theater of the Mind.

In Idaho, perhaps.
Further Reading

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  2. That sounds like it would have been an amazing movie! I really hope we get to see some of it some day.


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