Lemora: A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural (1973)

DVD Cover (Synapse)
Genres: Horror, Sex Horror, Vampire Film
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Richard Blackburn Richard Blackburn
Lesley Taplin Lesley Taplin
Cheryl Smith Cheryl Smith
William Whitton William Whitton
Hy Pyke Hy Pyke
Maxine Ballantyne Maxine Ballantyne

6.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Christopher
Added: January 14, 2005
Lemora starts out with being a movie with high potential as the first two minutes feature a criminal breaking into a couples house and shooting them. The man in the throat and the woman in the chest. Not very graphic, but very realistic. The film quickly heads downhill when it shows the main character Lila Lee (Cheryl Smith) singing in a church that's filled completely with females. There's a short scene about how Lila and the minister (Richard Blackburn, writer and director of the film) are living together and how their relationship is. He seems to be frightened by her fondness towards him because she's so young and has had a hard life.

Gearing away from those two, Lila receives a letter in the mail from a mysterious stranger, informing her that her father is dying and that he needs to see her. The note also states to come alone and tell no one where she is going, or she will not see her father. It turns out that the criminal at the beginning of the film is her father, which is revealed not too long before the letter is read. She sneaks out of the minister's house during the middle of the night and engages herself towards her fathers current place of stay. She has to take a private bus there due to no trains going into that particular town. During the trip, all sorts of werewolf-like creatures start coming onto the road and banging on the bus.

Later on down the road, the bus experiences some problems, which causes the driver to get out and try to fix it. He obviously gets attacked by the creatures right after he fixes the problem. Lila releases the emergency break and sends herself zooming past the creatures. Though the bus crashes and she's quickly retrieved by another sort of once-human type of creature, which is a servant to Lemora, the stranger who wrote her the letter. The movie slowly continues on as Lemora tries to gain Lila's trust and eventually have her apart of their society. As everything is falling into place, Lila catches Lemora biting into a young child and drinking his blood. It's discovered that she's a vampire.

Now the chase is on to get Lila back. Not only is Lemora and her gang looking for her, but the werewolf creatures are also after her. After and endless amount of running and hiding, Lemora is once again caught and brought back to Lemora. But now the vampires and werewolf creatures are battling it out for Lila. As she's hiding to protect herself from the battle, she begins to have flashbacks from the times she sang in church and when she was with the minister. Then a bunch of cut scenes from when she was in the mansion with Lemora. By this time, the minister has found the note and is the same town as Lila. But how he finds Lila is quite shocking.

For a horror film made so early in the seventies, it was really good. The acting wasn't too precise, but it wasn't beyond terrible. The werewolf creatures and vampires both looked really well put to together. Every bit of the scenery was also nicely done. The mansion Lemora lived in had its spooky vibe to it. All the little rooms and shacks she stumbled into while running from everyone had the perfect run down/abandoned feel to them. For a horror film that received a PG rating, it turned out very well. But as always, there was several problems that could have been easily avoided through out the entire film.

When Lila first arrived at the mansion, Lemora's adopted kids would follow her around and laugh for no given reason. I believe the laughing was suppose to be scary, but ended up being incredibly annoying due to the repetitiveness of it. The kids mouths not moving during the laughing didn't help too much either. The werewolf creatures were never given names or explained how they got the way they were. The only thing that was mentioned was that they were infected. Infected with what and from what would have certainly been a good mention. Sadly enough, Lila asked Lemora numerous times about what they were and how they got that way. The questions were always avoided.

During the chase after Lila discovered Lemora was a vampire, she had no sort of feet protection on. Sandals, shoes, socks, nothing. Completely barefoot. She managed to run constantly through a forest, on roof tops, abandoned rooms and what seemed to be like a factory. Did she ever trip or fall, maybe stub her toe on a rock or step on a nail? Nope, not a once. It was semi-decent though because the expectation in every horror movie for a running away situation is for the woman to fall and get captured. But here was this young teenager running through a forest that was so impenetrable to pain that she could have walked a mile on hot coals without even flinching.

On top of all that, the chase scene had to last at least fifteen minutes. There was no need for the scene to be that long. All in all, it was one of the better vampire films that are out in the world. Unfortunately, I don't look highly upon such films. This was Richard Blackburn's first and only feature film. Had he made another attempt at another full length movie at a later date in age, I could see him doing much better. Sadly it's been over three decades since this release, I believe it's safe to say there's no chance of another film being directed by him. But hopefully he'll prove me wrong.

Final Conclusion: 5/10
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