09/03/2014  
The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season on DVD Sep 9The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 16Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Sep 2Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

DWTS Season 19 Cast Revealed by Rumor ...
The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season on DVD Sep 9...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Aug 29 - Aug 31...
5 summer box office takeaways: Marvel rules, China rise...
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Se...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Synapse Films presents
Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

"I know you Lila, better than you know yourself. We are one and the same, and until you realize that, you can never be happy."
- Lemora (Lesley Gilb)

Review By: Robert Edwards   
Published: September 01, 2004

Stars: Lesley Gilb, Cheryl Smith, William Whitton, Steve Johnson
Other Stars: Hy Pyke, Maxine Ballantine, Parker West, Richard Blackburn
Director: Richard Blackburn

MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 01h:24m:58s
Release Date: August 31, 2004
UPC: 654930303399
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ BA-B B-

DVD Review

Thirteen-year-old Lila Lee (Cheryl Smith), "The Singin' Angel," is the pride and joy of her Baptist church, which took her in three years ago. Her gangster father has just killed his adulterous wife and her lover, and while on the lam is captured by the mysterious Lemora (Lesley Gilb), who presides over a mansion filled with hooded, pasty-faced followers. Lemora's captivated by a picture of Lila, and tries to lure her to the mansion with a letter claiming that her father's on his death bed and waiting for her to visit. Lila eagerly complies, but the horrors of her journey are only the beginning compared to what lies in wait for her once she comes under Lemora's spell.

Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural was released in 1973, and despite (or perhaps partially because of) its sub-B-movie origins, it quickly became a cult favorite. After its withdrawal in the early 1980s and subsequent unavailability, its fame only increased, as is typical with any film that's unavailable commercially and is remembered fondly through the haze of imperfect memory. (And the fact that it's an early starring role for exploitation queen Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith certainly increased its desirability.) Rumors circulated that the original negative was destroyed, but Synapse has worked their miracles and released it in a top-notch, uncut edition, and it's finally available for re-evaluation.

No doubt certain compromises are necessary in low-budget movie-making territory, and Lemora is no exception. The sets in the first part of the film are cheap and unconvincing, although Lemora's lair (the Bradbury Estate Chateau) is suitably baroque and effective. The acting varies from surprisingly good (Cheryl Smith) to ridiculously over the top (Hy Pyke as the bus driver) to inconsistent, especially Lesley Gilb as Lemora. The pasty-face, red-cheeked Lemora looks as if she has a bad case of rosacea, and the makeup on her followers isn't very good, but the zombies, usually glimpsed in short shots, look fairly revolting. On the plus side, the film looks quite good, with its many night scenes drenched in an eerie blue light or illuminated solely by torches. And the soundtrack, with its unearthly laughter, bizarre music and atmospheric effects, adds greatly to the film's effectiveness.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Lemora is that this exploration of a child's innocence versus the corrupting influence of adults is that it's seen through the lens of sexuality, and implied or overt pedophilia. Overt, certainly, in the case of a drunken, leering man, who asks her if she's looking for a "good time," and with a bus station clerk who offers her candy. When Lila asks a man for a ride, he leeringly tells her to "git, afore I change my mind," and later describes her as "ripe and ready to go." Even the Reverend, who has taken her in, is seen in flashback fending off her kisses (implying that maybe she's not all that innocent), then entering her bedroom, and later embracing her.

With Lemora, the sexual aspect isn't so cut and dried, but her attempts at seducing and initiating Lila into the life of vampirism clearly have erotic overtones. Lemora flatters her, telling her that she has an "exciting" figure while giving her a bath, and later carries her to bed and combs her hair. And we know that the husbandless Lemora previously had a young girl as her "blood lover."

Lemora is certainly far from being a great film, and viewers unaccustomed to low-budget filmmaking may be disinclined to even give it a chance. Those with an interest in the many variations on the vampire myth, or that sub-genre of the horror film that favors the creation of a perverse and disturbing atmosphere over action, and are able to overlook the film's muddled ending, will find much to like in this creepy and twisted tale.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: For an el cheapo 1970s movie, the image looks great. Skin tones are good and colors are bright, even if they do have a slightly unnatural appearance. Much of the movie is quite dark, so shadow detail is important, and the transfer is certainly up to it. There's a lot of detail in the image, but also a bit of grain in some scenes. There are no compression artifacts or annoying edge enhancement.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The mono sound is fine, limited in fidelity, but with no harshness or distortion. The dialogue sounds a bit odd at times, but this is the result of post-synchronization and not a fault of the transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues
Music/Song Access with 0 cues
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Les Raisins de la mort, Blue Sunshine, Brain Damage
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Actor/Director/Producer/Writer Richard Blackburn, Writer/Producer Robert Fern, and Actress Lesley Gilb
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Still Gallery
Extras Review: The primary bonus here is the full-length commentary with director Richard Blackburn, actress Lesley Gilb and producer Robert Fern. It's the first time these three have gotten together since the original shooting, and the atmosphere is warm and relaxed as they reminisce about the movie. Blackburn does most of the talking, occasionally prompted by Gilb, while Fern contributes fewer comments. They talk about the shooting conditions and locations, and the difficulties of lighting and editing certain sequences, as well as the actors and their connections to them. Especially interesting are the comments about Cheryl Smith, who was under 18 at the time of the shooting, but still far from innocent, and had to work a bit to seem naïve. A few plot points that were obscured by the editing are explained, and Fern points out several scenes that were considered too racy and excised from television prints. The commentary as a whole is quite good, both entertaining and informative.

A voluminous still gallery with 51 on-set photos, 25 continuity pics, and two posters is included, although they are fairly small. The original 99-page shooting script is available via a DVD-ROM drive, in the form of an Acrobat Reader file. The printed insert contains a page of notes from makeup artist Byrd Holland, as well as three pages relating the film's history and influences by Richard Harland Smith and Chris Poggiali. Their comments are insightful and informative, but their excusal of some of the budget-imposed restrictions of the film as "the naïve constructs of the hungry mind of an impressionable child" is clearly wishful thinking.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Released in 1973, Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural is finally available in a great transfer from Synapse. It's a real treat for those with an inclination towards the perverse in their horror films, and who are willing to overlook the obvious budget limitations and muddled ending.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, reality, dancing with the stars, abc, janel parrish, jonathan bennett, sadie robertson, lea thompson, lolo jones, comedy, box office, movies, guardians of the galaxy, zoe saldano, rocket racoon, bradley cooper, chris pratt, vin diesel, biography, history, horror, drama, movie, rosewater, maziar bahari, jon stewart director, gael garcia bernal, celebrity, joan rivers, comedian, cardiac arrest, mount sinai hospital, 81 years old, full house, revival, john stamos, candace cameron bure, jody sweetin, andrea barber, bob saget, dave coulier, pierce brosnan, the november man, luke bracey, james bond, olga kurylenko, roger donaldson, kids, music, justin timberlake, iceland, 90 minutes, korinn auditorium, shake your body, take back the night, movies. richard attenborough, actor, director, brighton rock, gandhi, oh what a lovely war, jurassic park. in which we serve, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, teenage mutant ninja turtles, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact