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Prowl (After Dark Originals) (DVD Review)

29 Mar, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 3/29/11
$19.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for bloody violence, language and some teen drug and alcohol use.
Stars Courtney Hope, Saxon Trainor, Bruce Payne, Ruta Gedmintas, Joshua Bowman.

In the crowded horror genre, After Dark Films has developed a reputation for co-producing/distributing quality low-budget fare with high production values. Its annual “8 Films to Die For” series is now in its fourth season.

Prowl is the company’s first proprietary effort in its nascent “After Dark Originals” series that incorporates the typical formula for horror success: Placing attractive teens in dangerous situations of their own doing.

Thus we find restless Amber (well-played by newcomer Courtney Hope), who wants to ditch her Midwestern small town, a booze-addled mother and a disdainful job in a butcher shop for the big city (Chicago).

To help realize a move to her own apartment in the Windy City, Amber employs the resources — notably a car — of her friends for a road trip. The posse includes the stereotypical jock, a creative effeminate type, a shunned outcast and related frisky girlfriends.

Naturally, the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the group decides to hitch a ride, smoke, drink alcohol and play strip poker in the back of a locked (from the outside) empty semi-truck — all prerequisites for a guaranteed unhappy future.

Indeed, mercenary trucker Bernard (Bruce Payne) detours the teens to a concrete hell (actually an abandoned factory near Sofia, Bulgaria) inhabited by a band of nocturnal vampires — led by maternal leader Veronica (Saxon Trainor). Let the carnage begin.

The DVD includes a making-of featurette and commentary from director Patrik Syversen, writer Tim Tori and Hope, among others.

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