Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Blackstar: "The Zombie Masters" (December 5, 1981)

While visiting the royal family of Gandar in hopes of securing the city’s help in the rebellion against the Overlord, Blackstar and his friends are shocked to see the flying city of Marakon -- the city of zombies -- fly into view.

The evil floating metropolis lays waste to Gandar, and the evil wizard who controls the city, Shaldamar, transforms Mara and the city's  princess into mindless zombie slaves.

Now the prince of Gandar and Blackstar must destroy the zombie city, and restore the souls of all the slaves.

The last episode of Filmation’s Blackstar (1981) is a highly enjoyable one.  

The villain, the grotesquely obese Shaldamar, utilizes an orb which “absorbs” souls, and creates zombies out of the bodies left behind.  A few scenes of destruction are also genuinely impressive as Marakon destroys a peaceful city, and sets its aim for the Trobbits’ Sagar Tree.

Once more, the star-sword is the weapon which saves the day. Blackstar uses it to destroy the soul-sucking orb, and it’s a bit disappointing that the hero of this series rarely has to seek a method of saving the day.  Rather, he owns it.  It’s just a matter of pointing it at the menace of the week.

Still, it’s gruesome good, macabre fun in “The Zombie Masters” when Mara and the others are transformed into gray-skinned, creepy-eyed drones.

The series ends without a final appearance from The Overlord, he was last seen in episode eleven, “The Overlord’s Big Spell.”

Looking back at Blackstar as a whole, the best episode is probably “Spacewrecked,” although I also enjoyed “The Air Whales of Anchar,” “The Crown of the Sorceress,” and this episode, “The Zombie Masters.”  

Overall, the series has more depth than something like the (infinitely more popular) He-Man, but less depth than something like Thundarr the Barbarian.

Blackstar is one of those series where, if you feel nostalgic for it, you could watch one or two episodes and feel satisfied that you’ve re-captured the experience. It’s not a series I will likely revisit on the blog.  There’s simply not enough there to merit another re-watch.  But I did enjoy reconnecting with the series.

Next week, the series primer for...Space Stars.

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