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Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural

DVD cover from Synapse Films
Directed by Richard Blackburn
Produced by Robert Fern
Written by Richard Blackburn
Starring Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith
Hy Pyke
Lisley Gilb
Richard Blackburn
Music by Dan Neufeld
Cinematography Robert Caramico
Distributed by Media Cinema Group
Release date(s) May 1975
Running time 80 minutes (original release)
113 minutes (uncut version)
Language English

Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (also called Lemora: The Lady Dracula and The Legendary Curse of Lemora) is a 1975 American horror film, written and directed by Richard Blackburn. Blackburn later gained fame as the co-writer of the Paul Bartel film Eating Raoul.

Contents

Cast

  • Lila Lee — Cheryl Smith
  • Lemora — Lesley Gilb
  • Solange — Maxine Ballantyne
  • Alvin Lee — William Whitton
  • The Bus Driver — Hy Pyke
  • The Reverend — Richard Blackburn

Plot

During the Prohibition era, 13-year old Lila Lee (Cheryl Smith) is seeking to visit her injured father, a gangster, before he dies. She runs away from the Reverend, who has raised her and in whose church she has become well-known as a singer. She ends up taking a bus to the strange town of Astaroth, where people have the "Astaroth Look."

En route Lila is menaced in a swamp by a band of mindless vampires who haunt the woods and town. She is rescued by a mysterious woman named Lemora (Lesley Gilb), who takes a fancy to the girl. It seems she is the one who called the girl to her, though whether to protect her or to corrupt her remains to be seen. Lila is taken to a very old house, where Lemora gives her a bath and tries to soothe her. Exploring, Lila discovers the truth — Lemora is a vampire who feeds upon children and who is holding her father captive, as well as being the unofficial queen of the Astaroth vampires.

One of the denizens of Astaroth in the film Lemora

While trying to escape, Lila embarks on a night-time journey through the town of Astaroth, learning in the process that there are two types of vampires here. The one fraction is like Lemora herself, relatively human in behavior in appearance; the others are mutated, perhaps de-volved, far more animalistic in behavior and monstrous in form - and the two groups are at war.

Meanwhile, the Reverend, seeking to find Lila, manages to retrace her steps. After a climactic battle which leaves most of the vampires in the town dead, Lila is forced to kill her own father, who has become one of the degenerates. As she weeps over his corpse, Lemora finds her and offers her comfort by her kiss. When the Reverend shows up not long after, he finds Lila willing, even eager to kiss him. He resists at first, then he gives in. That is when she drives her fangs into his throat.

The film ends showing Lila singing again in church. Whether this was intended to indicate the story was a dream, that it was a "flash forward" or if that Lila returned as a vampire to the Church — or perhaps some other explanation — is not clear.

Notes

The movie had limited distribution during its original release. Due to its pedophilic and lesbian overtones, it was banned by the Catholic League of Decency[1]. It quickly fell into obscurity except in France, where it became something of a cult film. It was first released on video in the United States (with a mini-documentary on the film) as late as the mid-90's. Today, Lemora still remains a relatively obscure film, but it has developed a strong following in the horror fandom over the years. A DVD was released in 2004, featuring additional footage and commentary by the director and producer.

References

External links








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