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This review is from: Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Though ostensibly a `vampire' flick, `Lemora' is so much more than that most degraded of labels could possibly suggest. Teen Lila Lee (Cheryl `Rainbeaux' Smith, playing it discomfortingly younger than her genuinely young age at the time) is subject of repressed but not entirely unreciprocated desires from her priestly guardian. However, in searching for her murderous runaway father, she finds herself in a realm of terror and possibility at the hands of blood-sucking Lemora, dubious vampiress whose faintly sordid advances may actually prove decidedly liberating.
First things first. This wonderful piece of zero-budget 70s horror is primarily an atmosphere piece, an absolute triumph of creativity over funding. It will absolutely ingrain itself in your memory in a way few films can manage, its skilful manipulation of mood and mise-en-scene conjuring up a realm of adolescent nightmare rarely equalled. The journey by bus to Lemora's domain, besieged by feral, degenerate undead horrors, will simply etch itself in your mind and take residence there, the brilliant juxtaposition of the archaic, supernatural and the mundane being extremely well-balanced. Cheryl Smith is excellent, a part-innocent, part all-too-aware captivating woman-child at the mercy of entirely predatory Freudian forces who nonetheless fights the good fight against what some would call the inevitable. Symbolic, dream-like and mesmerising, Lemora is not to be forgotten in a hurry.
The DVD itself is of superb quality. Excellent liner notes and as good a transfer as you could hope for, `Lemora' looks great. In fact, this film is not a million miles way from `Near Dark' in its near-perpetually tenebrous setting, yet this disc gives clarity and and definition to those shapes that loom out of the near-eternal night in which this movie dwells. Given this film's meagre budget, it is remarkable how evocative it seems today, standing as a real testament to the film-maker's vision and creativity.
In short then, if you appreciate mood, poetry and atmosphere in your horror, this would be an excellent addition to your collection.