December 29, 2010

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

Lila Lee, a virginal doe-eyed princess who's innocent heavenly heart is only rivaled by her soft inviting beauty, is the daughter of a notorious gangster that has just murdered his wife (and her lover). She sings in the church, her immaculate voice gracefully subduing the demonic sin within the townsfolk. Yet still, old klips speak ill of this gorgeous young lass in due to her family ties, and out of obvious jealousy. Reverend Letmegetsome speaks strong and harsh upon this, stating that this girl is softer than silk the most pure of all young ladies to grace the earth's soil. And he should know, he took her in after her father disappeared. While Lila's father is on the run, he is blocked in the street by a strange black-cloak wearing woman, and her goons find under his fedora a ripped out newspaper article: "Singin' Angel Daughter of Real Life Devil." The strange woman grins at the sight of this blonde treasure, and decides to write a letter "at her father's deathbed request" to get her to come and play.

Upon reading the letter, Lila packs her bag (which isn't big enough after her clothing to hold her doll - signifying her journey into young womanhood) and leaves her faithful admirer a letter that's she's gone. Upon her way to the bus station (and even inside the bus station) Lila encounters all sorts of fuckin' perverts from every inch of the perv spectrum, just fiending for a taste of her thirteen year old booty. I know that bus stations are usually the identification to the "bad part of town" but this is ridiculous. She seems somewhat worried, but I can tell that she's used to this sort of thing. After all, there's a religious pervert father figure waiting at home now and missing the hell out his little darling, and where she's going she's bound to end up in the arms of another lustful fiend (though, this time in the form of a predatory lesbian vampire). The guy at the ticket booth offers her a chocolate from a box (and man, is this guy good), which she reluctantly takes.

Upon entering the "one time a night" bus that goes to this strange town and isn't actually one of the station's buses, Lila says to the strange man that she hasn't any money. The gross looking dude looks at her with a smirk and says that he'll take "anything she can give" him. So she hands him a piece of chocolate and he says that's good enough. Weird. I guess it's no matter however as he starts driving her towards her final destination and along the way begins his story of severe creepiness! And trust me when I say this: There's nothing more sexy than a hot seventeen year old blond chick pretending to be a thirteen year old virgin and creeped the fuck out on a bus in the middle of night while traveling to a vampire's cavern and being pursued by perverts and forest monsters alike. Naturally she escapes harm (?) and is eventually (after being locked in a room for twenty-four hours) invited into Lemora's home for kidnapped run-away children.

Lemora is obviously rather fond of this girl, and shows her affection by offering her a chalice full of blood that makes her dizzy. Being rather concerned, Lemora forces Lila to dance with her before taking her to the private quarters where she proceeds to bathe and tickle her! You can probably guess where all of this is headed. If not, I'm including a little pic on the right hand side which will tell ya. ---> I had never seen this film, nor had I really ever heard of it back while I was growing young. Back when, London After Midnight was the ultimate lost vampire film, but during my aging youth I have found out (thanks to Don May at Synapse Films) that this movie was also a lost treasure. And I'm not one to disobey the words of Synapse, so I awaited eagerly and in 2004, I finally got to see the film that was considered a "lost classic!"

Without getting too graphic, let's just say that I gave this film my full appreciation that fateful day. When the credits hit I could do no more than award the fated 10/10 award score. I've seen Lemora: Lady Dracula four times since then and it just bewilders, overcomes, and basically takes me hostage every single time with the sheer perfection of its execution. The fact that this was Richard Blackburn's only film not only astonishes me, but at the same time makes me wonder; If I had made a film of this greatness my first time around would I continue? Dario Argento did, and all people do now-a-daze is talk shit about the most awesome director in the world. That's almost beyond the point and I don't want to start to ramble like a madman about how it makes me sick so I'll continue into the safe zone.

Synapse somehow came across this 30 year old lost film print and these reels must have been stored in some caring arms because it looks fucking beautiful! Colors bursting all over the place Suspiria-style, little to no scratches or blemishes (very little lines), and damn fine clarity. The print is so clear that all of the audio dub mishaps are presented right before you, but that's ok. It's rather charming. Add a scream here, or a few words here... I kind of like it after all, and commend the sound technician. My trained eye catches it, but most will not, which makes it fun for me. Wes Benscoter did the masterful artwork for the new release DVD cover, and it rocks. The tri-fold-out booklet with liner notes from Richard Harland Smith and Chris Poggiali is not only innovative but informative.

I fucking LOVE this movie. It's beautiful. I don't just go around giving perfect scores to films. Trust me, it's a rare occurrence... but I will not fail in telling anyone out there that they need to see this, and embrace it. There will be screenshots and other posts to come regarding Lemora. I'm not done, and I don't think I ever will be.

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My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.