Director aims to finish “Dark Blood,” River Phoenix’s final movie, via crowd-funding

When 23-year-old River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993, he was working on a movie entitled “Dark Blood,” directed by George Sluizer. The project, which Sluizer said was 80 percent finished, was put to rest. The insurance company wanted all the footage destroyed, but Sluizer refused and kept it for himself.

Now 79 years old and diagnosed with an aneurysm, Sluizer has gone back to the editing room and wants “Dark Blood,” which he plans to piece together out of the existing footage in a creative way, to be his last hurrah and a personal tribute to Phoenix.

But Sluizer needs money to finish the film and, as a result, has headed to CineCrowd, the European version of KickStarter, to raise the funds. In order to drum up enthusiasm for the project, he has released a trailer of sorts — the first “new” footage of Phoenix that anyone has seen in a long time. Watch it after the jump…

Phoenix’s presence aside, “Dark Blood” certainly looks like it was made in an earlier era, which is quite refreshing. The material doesn’t seem highly compelling, but one suspects it was crudely pieced together to show as much of Phoenix as possible. The film also stars Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce.

To conclude, here is a video of Sluizer talking about the project and his aspirations for it: