Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

aka Lemora, the Lady Dracula
Article 2774 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-11-2008
Posting Date: 3-18-2009
Directed by Richard Blackburn
Featuring Lesley Gilb, Cheryl Smith, William Whitton
Country: USA

A 13-year old singer in a church receives a letter from her father claiming that he is about to die and wishes her forgiveness. She goes to him, unaware that he has been captured by a vampiress with her own designs on the girl…

Just because the title of the movie describes it as a “child’s tale” doesn’t mean it’s for children. The opening scene features the bloody murder by a gangster of his wife and her lover, and the first leg of the 13-year old’s journey to her father has her encountering any number of potentially abusive child molesters. Yet, the “child’s tale” description is apt; despite the depravity and sickness, the movie has the definite air of a fairy tale. There’s something truly creepy about the girl’s encounter with Lemora, who subtly but effectively seeks to initiate her in the ways of vampirism. Despite the repellent undertones of the movie (which no doubt contributed to it being condemned by the Catholic film board), it’s entrancing and fascinating. It stumbles towards the end, however; once the girl discovers the nature of her captor, we get an extended and rather dull chase sequence, followed by an overdose of the artiness with which the movie has flirted up to that point. The ending is logical enough, but it may leave you feeling rather queasy. At any rate, this seems to be the week for offbeat and bizarre horror movies for me.

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