“I don’t want to revenge myself on you — I want to give you something.”
A deeply religious girl (Cheryl Smith) living with a preacher (Richard Blackburn) receives a letter stating that her estranged father (William Whitton) is dying, and runs away from home to find him. Soon Lila (Smith) discovers that her father has been captured by a mysterious, pale woman named Lemora (Lesley Gilb) — and that Lemora has unusual plans for Lila herself.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Widely unavailable until its recent release on DVD, this low-budget vampire flick (commonly known as Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural) has developed a serious cult following, with fans proclaiming it one of the best of the genre. Despite an intriguing premise and a winning performance by 16-year-old Cheryl Smith, however, it’s ultimately a rather tedious, muddled affair, one which never follows through on its potential. The essential problem lies in the fact that writer/director Richard Blackburn is less concerned with developing a cohesive storyline than with evoking atmosphere — thus, his archetypal tale of innocence lost peters out by the end of the film, ultimately leaving little impact. With that said, Lemora is beloved by enough followers to be considered must-see viewing for any serious film fanatic.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith as Lila Lee
- Creepy Leslie Gilb as Lemora
Yes, but only for its status as a cult favorite. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.