One of the horror genre's "most widely read critics" (Rue Morgue # 68), "an accomplished film journalist" (Comic Buyer's Guide #1535), and the award-winning author of Horror Films of the 1980s (2007), The Rock and Roll Film Encyclopedia (2007) and Horror Films of the 1970s (2002), John Kenneth Muir, presents his blog on film, television and nostalgia, named one of the Top 100 Film Studies Blog on the Net.
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Challenge of the Super Friends: "Swamp of the Living Dead" (November 11, 1978)
“Swamp of the Living Dead,” an episode of Hanna-Barbera’s Challenge of the Super Friends (1978),
the Legion of Doom negotiates with an old witch in a swamp to possess the
greatest powers of all time. A dark force, an Evil Being, promises the Legion
of Doom it will comply, but wants the Super Friends in return.
Legion of Doom sets out to capture and destroy the Super Friends one-at-a-time,
setting “super traps” for the heroes.
long, the heroes are captured in tubes under the swamp, and gassed into
While the heroes
suffer this “strange fate in the depths
of the fathomless bog,” the Legion of Doom inherit from their benefactor --
“The Evil One Who Haunts the Night” --
the ability to raise an army of the living dead.
Legion of Doom and the zombie army attack the Federal Plutonium Plant, but no
one should ever count out the Super Friends.
of the Super Friends
delves into George A. Romero territory in “Swamp of the Living Dead” after, in
its previous installment, visiting the Planet of the Apes (Gorilla City!).
“Swamp of the Living Dead,” the Legion of Doom seeks power from a dark force
that happens to inhabit a local swamp.
Why or how this creature -- a kind
of floating head -- has come to exist is never explained. The Legion of
Doom, however delivers to it the Super Friends, starting with Hawkman, and then
Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo end up
running the Batmobile into the swamp, and Robin exclaims, “Holy Reckless Driving, Batman!”
funniest thing about this episode is that the Legion of Doom has never, ever -- in the entire history of the show -- been able to successfully restrain or stop
the heroes from the Hall of Justice for any significant duration of time.
when the dark swamp entity demands the superheroes as a price, the Legion of
the Doom promptly captures them all. Maye they should have just quit while they
addition to his reckless driving comment, Roin gets in a quasi-reference to
Kolchak at one point: “Holy Night Stalker!” Next
week: "Conquerors of the Future."