Saturday, July 17, 2010

Horror Movie Review: Lemora - A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural

Lemora - A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural

Starring: Lesley Taplin, Cheryl Smith, and William Whitton

Directed by: Richard Blackburn

Written by: Richard Blackburn and Robert Fern

Production Company: Blackfern

Release Date: April 30, 1973

Horror movies used to be different beasts than what we think of today. During the "Back-in-the-Day" days, horror was less about making us jump and scream. Horror was more complicated and just surprising us with an unexpected killer in the closet and grossing us out with bountiful buckets of blood. It was all about atmosphere. Horror movies were supposed to give you a sustained sense of horror, of unease and disquiet, which would last longer than the jumps we get today. They were subtle and eerie, and in the midst of the exploitation horror and Grindhouse features of the 70s came Lemora - A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural, one of the creepiest movies to be rated PG that you will find.
Lila Lee is a young girl being raised by The Reverend who has taken her in. Lila receives a letter from her father, Alvin Lee, a villainous gangster. Lila runs away to go see her father.

On her journey to the town of Astaroth, the bus she rides is attacked by beastly vampires, but luckily she makes it to town where she is taken in my Lemora. But it's not long before Lila learns that Lemora is, herself, a vampire waiting to feast on her blood.

Lemora, played by Lesley Taplin, is one of the creepiest vampires you'll find in a movie. Her pale face over her dark clothes makes it look like her disembodied head floats through many scenes. The bus driver who takes Lila to Astaroth is ana unsettling character despite his good intentions. And Lila, played by Cheryl Smith, tries to save herself and her innocence from the vampires of Astaroth.

Researching the movie, I discovered that Lemora - A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural caused a bit of a scandal when it came out and was quickly squelched from public view, which is why so few people have heard of it. Despite its PG rating, director and screenwriter Blackburn hit many erotic and taboo topics which Anne Rice uses in her vampire series. A scene with a naked (but covered, kind of) Lila with Lemora carries a hint of pedophilia, and, of course, lesbianism.

It's a classic tale of good versus evil with a child's soul at stake (no pun...well, ok...pun intended...). Lemora and the Astaroth vampires hope to make Lila one of their own, while The Reverend searches valiantly for hus ward. It's a strong, subtle story with an ending which will make you wonder who prevails.

Releated Trailers

Massacre at Central High

Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, who played Lila Lee, who had just turned 18, also appeared in Massacre at Central High. A high school transfer student, pushed to the edge by a trio of brutal bullies, resorts to murder to reclaim the school from oppression, and later turns against the students wanting to fill the vacuum of their oppressors.

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