The Drac is back
It'll take a stake through the heart to bury the culty 1973 vampire pic "Lemora: the Lady Dracula," which was saved from total disappearance and is now offered again for you to sink your teeth into.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
After 30 years of release limbo, "Lemora, Lady Dracula" returns to the big
screen with its unique melange of gothic camp. A cult hit in drive-ins and late-night
TV, the film was withdrawn in the early 1980s and all copies disappeared. Only a video transfer by writer-director-actor
Richard Blackburn. In lurid color, the story of
Lila Lee unspools.
In the film, the daughter of a ruthless gangster on the run from the
law in the south of the 1930s, Lila (played by Cheryl Smith) is being raised
by a reverend (played by Richard Blackburn. who also wrote and directed the
film). Lila has been blessed with a beautiful singing voice, and the reverend
showcases her in the church's choir.
|LEMORA: THE LADY DRACULA|
|Original title: Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural.|
Written and directed by: Richard Blackburn.
Cast: Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, Lesley Gilb, Cheryl Smith, William Whitton, Hy Pyke, Maxine Ballantyne, Parker West, Richard Blackburn.
Related links: Official site
Lila receives a letter saying that her
father is on his deathbed in a distant town called Asteroth. She is urged to
come see him and told to come alone. In the middle of the night she sneaks
away, becoming the sole passenger on a bus ride.
The bus is attacked by
zombielike creatures and Lila finds herself at the house of Lemora (played
by Lesley Gilb), a mysterious black-clad woman who oversees a strange group
of children and has a strong interest in Lila as she seeks to wear away her
Christian resolve. Lila tries to escape Lemora's clutches, but finds that
the more she runs, the closer Lemora gets.|
There are not-so-subtle lesbian
overtones to Lemora's attention to Lila, especially when Lemora insists on
giving Lila a bath. There isn't a lot of vampire stuff happening (Lemora
bares her fangs only once), but the zombielike creatures who live in the
woods surrounding Lemora's house are certainly creepy as they chase after
Lila in her futile efforts to escape.
"Lemora, Lady Dracula" succeeds as a
horror movie that's more campy than scary (you may find the stilted dialogue
chuckleworthy) and is a nice slice of escapism for a summer night.
|JUNE 28, 2001|
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Reader comments on Lemora: The Lady Dracula:
Lila Lee from Ron Mwangaguhunga, Oct 18, 2003
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