The Horror Honeys: Lemora: Angels, Devils, and Pedophiles...

Lemora: Angels, Devils, and Pedophiles...

A Supernatural Honey "Vampire Month" Review with Suzanne

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

September is here and it’s Vampire Month at the Horror Honeys. I’m super excited about this because, as the Supernatural Honey, I love all things fangy. This week I’m focusing on an obscure gothic fairy tale, condemned by the Catholic Film Board for its anti-religious themes and underage sexuality.

Thirteen year old Lila Lee (Cheryl Smith) is beautiful, innocent, and known for her angelic voice, which she showcases at the local church where she grew up. She is the ward of the church’s reverend, a lecherous man with less than pure thoughts toward the pretty young girl in his care. When Lila receives a letter from her dying father, a gangster, she flees to the town of Astaroth see him before he dies.

On her journey, she is attacked by a group of hideous vampire-like creatures and barely escapes. Lila is rescued and taken in by Lemora (Leslie Gibb), a mysterious woman who appears to also have Lila’s father as a prisoner. Lila is fascinated and frightened by Lemora, especially after she discovers what Lemora is; the queen of the Astaroth vampires.

There are two types of vampires in this film. The Astaroth variety are human in appearance, intelligent, and powerful. The swamp vampires are mindless, hideous creatures who kill indiscriminately. These two killer clans clash in a less than epic battle, which leaves virtually every vampire dead.

And with really purple skin, apparently.
As I mentioned before, Lemora had some trouble with the Catholic church. Most of the content is typical of vampire films, however there is a rather inappropriate nude scene where Lemora is bathing Lila and there is, of course, the reverend and his lustful thoughts. In Lila’s search for her father, she encounters more than one grown man with a desire for young girls and at the very end of the film, there is an encounter between Lila and the reverend which does push the boundaries of good taste and pedophilia.  

Silly Catholics... 
The acting is less than remarkable, but also suffers from bad dubbing. I think Gibb’s portrayal of Lemora is supposed to be stoic and intimidating, but it’s stiff and unwatchable. The one bright spot is Cheryl Smith, whose wide-eyed, natural acting worked perfectly for Lila. Sadly, Smith, who was a promising actress and musician, succumbed to a heroin addition before her talent was realized.

Lemora is a super low-budget film and with horrible acting, theatrical makeup and cheap special effects; it’s no wonder it remains relatively unknown, although it has developed somewhat of a cult following.

You can buy Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural on DVD, rent it on Amazon Instant Video, or watch it on YouTube.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 2.5 pissed off Catholics out of 5

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on Twitter: @suzebee04