Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural

It’s the rare horror film that can stand-toe-to-toe with dream logic classics like Suspiria and Phantasm, but Richard Blackburn’s 1973 film Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural is one of them. Part Alice in Wonderland, part Night of the Living Dead and part something else entirely, the film chronicles Lila Lee, a virginal young girl (played by Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith, who would later become a tragic figure in the LA drug scene) and her sexually charged encounter with a vampire queen who seeks to corrupt her very soul. Blackburn’s direction (he also cameos as a fire and brimstone preacher) is surprisingly assured for a first-timer, gradually evolving Lila’s journey into a Freudian nightmare of zombie-like ghouls, creepy sing-songy crones and most unsettling of all, her father. The very definition of an unsung gem, this is a film that begs to be discovered by fans of the freaky, horrifying and surreal.

Dir. Richard Blackburn, 1973, 16mm, 80 min.