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Series 4

SLUG Zombies
by yo go re

Barring some miracle, this may well be our last SLUG Zombies review. It was three years ago when we first discovered the Christmas SLUGs and enthusiastically commanded everyone to buy them. Clearly we didn't stress it adequately, because Series 4 was the end of the line.

[Note: in order to best show off the details, the images in this review are at twice actual size. --ed.]

Previous Job: Slacker
Likes: Zombie Rumbles
Dislikes: Preppies
Favorite Food: Grilled Head Cheese Sandwich & A Maggot Malt

So here's a question for you: is Gruesome Gabe a legitimate 1950s greaser zombie, or is he just one of those guys who's way too into rockabilly music? Either way, he's got the look down: Chuck Taylors, jeans with the cuff rolled up, a wallet chain, a plain T-shirt, and a leather jacket. He's running a comb through his hair, which, since he's a decaying corpse reanimated by unholy means, is only succeeding in pulling his scalp back, revealing his brains beneath. His right sleeve is torn away, as is a patch of skin on that forearm, and you can see the bones of his elbow through a hole in his left sleeve. A gaping wound peeks out from beneath his jacket, showing some ribs and guts. The right leg of his pants has been torn off, and his toes are exposed on that side, too.

Survival Skill: A Saw For A Hand, A Shotgun In The Other!
Likes: Sharpening His Sawblade
Dislikes: Being Asked To Carve The Turkey Every Thanksgiving
Favorite Quote: "How About A Haircut? I'll Start Just Below The Chin."

Ash. It's Ash. This figure is Ash. They may call him Sawblade Sampson, but he's Ash. He's got a shotgun, a saw for a hand, a work shirt with straps over the chest, everything. It's Ash. Okay, he's got a reciprocating saw instead of a chainsaw, but is that really enough to confuse you about who he's supposed to be? It's like giving Rambo an eyepatch - just a way to have a famous pop culture character show up while still keeping the lawyers on their chains. Not-Ash has a big grimmace on his face, and Elvis hair. His pants have some tears, and because of how thin it is, the sawblade tends to get bent.

Previous Job: Door To Door Salesman
Likes: "Closing The Deal!"
Dislikes: Being Turned Into A Zombie For "Closing The Deal!" To The Wrong Guy
Favorite Food: Lemon Meringue Thigh

What? Seriously, what the hell? Why is this bio trying to paint Leo the Lifeless as salesman? I mean, this is clearly the Larry to Teddy Terror's Curly and Louie Fingers' Moe, and both of their bios at least hinted at who they were, but this? It's like they just grabbed any random text that was lying around. Leo is wearing a raggedy suit, and a tie that's decades out of fashion. Though his pantlegs are torn, he doesn't have any obvious wound there - or near the rips on his sleeves. But he has been hurt, and in true Stooge fashion, no less! Someone hit him over the head with a wrench, but because this is real life and not a comedy short, the wrench split his skull and is now embedded in his brain. Also, he's wearing glasses. Glasses were not a normal part of Larry's look, but they seem fine here on Leo.

Previous Job: N/A... Hasn't Worked A Day In Her Life
Likes: Her Teddy, "Freddy"
Dislikes: Her Chores & Brushing Her Teeth Before Bed
Favorite Food: Grilled Knees Sandwich With A Glass of Milk

Deranged Denise is your standard "little girl zombie" - clearly somebody was a fan of The Walking Dead. She's wearing a checkered dress with a big bow tied around the waist, and shoes that I want to call Mary Janes, but a cursory Google search tells me that's wrong. Her hair is pulled into pigtails. There's a giant bite taken out of her right arm. If not for the wounds on her face, she'd look stoned rather than dead. And is that her tongue hanging out of her mouth, or a piece of flesh she tore off a victim? Her teddy bear looks just as decimated as she does: its arm is ripping off, one button eye is popping out, and there are tufts of stuffing poking out through its stitches.

Previous Job: Soldier Of The British Army
Likes: Commandeering Pirate Ships
Dislikes: When Those Pirate Ships Have Cannons
Favorite Food: Brainers & Mash

This zombie's got a great theme going on (undead British pirate-hunter? Yes please!) but his name is dreadful. And not in a good way. Honestly, "English Dead Guard"? That's all they could come up with? Admiral Gorrington. Gore-atio Nelson. Obviously I'm hitting the "gore" pun pretty hard, but I'm working with what I have. It seems that the name is supposed to be a play on "Red Guard," but they were called red coats, not red guards. Plus, if he's navy, the fancy uniform he's wearing would be blue, not red. The sculpt is intricate, and though the outfit has become bedraggled, his only obvious injury is the giant cannonball hole through his chest! This is a fun figure with a decent biography, he just needs a better name.

Previous Job: Barbarian King
Likes: Conquering Villages
Dislikes: Pants
Favorite Food: Spicy Scapula Soup

Is it possible to have a barbarian character in a line like this and not just refer to him in shorthand as Conan? I mean, we could pretend that this is Bran Mak Muffin or Cormac McCarthy, but come on: the Brain-Eatin' Barbarian is zombie Conan. He has furry boots and underwear, like He-Man, and has a scabbard strapped to his back. His sword desperately needs to be sharpened - there are dings and chips all along the edges. Given that he's a barbarian, it's hard to tell which of these wounds zombified him, and which are just the result of normal battle. The spot on his left forearm that seems to just be bare bones probably wouldn't have been survivable for a human, though. Setting him apart from Conan, he's got a big bushy beard.

Previous Job: Guitarist For Jimmy & The Moaners
Likes: Voodoo & Incense
Dislikes: Da Mon, Mon!
Favorite Food: Jerk Chicken with Mashed Toes

Jimmy and the Moaners is a reference to Bob Marley and the Wailers, just in case the dreadlocks weren't enough to a clue as to who Jamaica Me Sick was supposed to be. He's barefoot, and a rip in his pants allows us to gaze mindfully upon his shinbone. The right sleeve of his shirt has been torn away - the left is still complete, which is how we know he's wearing long sleeves. He has a goatee and glasses. Glasses? Isn't pot supposed to cure glaucoma? Judging by the scrapes on his guitar, he was using it as a weapon for a while before he got turned, really putting the "bong" in "El Kabong" - unfortunately, the neck broke at some point, so no more playing for him. For some reason, there's a snake hanging around his neck. Is that supposed to be a voodoo thing? Does Jakks know voodoo and rastafari aren't the same thing? Pfft. White people, amirite.

Previous Job: Ice Cream Man
Likes: Slow Cruisin' & Exact Change
Dislikes: Freezer Burn
Favorite Food: Orange Screamsicles

2-Scoops-Too-Late Steve, the zombie crème glacéeur, may not be based on a real person, but he still has a lot of personality. Look at the way there are a bunch of small wounds all over his arms. You know why that is? Because he was in his truck - the rest of his body was protected, but his arms were sticking out the window! Detail! His uniform has gotten more ruined over time, but those are the only injuries. Maybe Deranged Denise bit him! He has a change dispenser on his belt, and a dorky paper hat. For a really cool feature, look at his ice cream cone: it's actually a coil of intestine with an eyeball on top! That's great!

Previous Job: Head Engineer
Likes: Overnight Shipping
Dislikes: Return To Sender
Favorite Food: Sweet & Sour Sternum

Dismembered Dennis is a zombie who's been cut up and put into three wooden shipping crates. One of them is labelled "HK" - is that the sculptor's signature, or is the box going to Hong Kong? The boxes are stacked three high and twisted slightly off-center. They're pretty beat to hell, and a different bodypart is poking out of each: the right hand has broken out of the top box, ready to grasp anyone who comes by; the head (and a few fingers) have come out through the side of the middle box, like Dennis is trying to pull himself free; and the bottom box has been kicked open by the right foot. To add a little more visual interest, a rat is perched on the corner of the box. Run, rat! Run or the zombie will get you!

Survival Skill: Wrote The Book, "Survivial Skills"
Likes: His Trusty Sidekick, Rascal
Dislikes: When Rascal Has An Accident
Favorite Quote: "Who Waits 'Til You See The Whites Of Their Eyes? Just Shoot!"

This happy chap, Buckskin Bill, is either supposed to be Davy Crockett or one of those cosplaying dimwits who took all the good ideas and promise of the Tea Party and turned it into a punchline. Per his name, he's dressed all in buckskin, with fringe on his arms, around his shoulders, and at the bottom of the coat. He's armed with a long rifle, and is posed like he's charging forward with it. Shouldn't he have a bayonet for that? His coonskin cap is an actual raccoon, which is what the bio was getting at. But the real Davy Crockett never wore one - Disney made it up.

Previous Job: Painter
Likes: Muscle Cars & Candy Bars
Dislikes: Working Overtime
Favorite Food: Peanut Butter N' Belly Sandwich

What is going on with that bio? Lifeless Leo's made no sense with the character, but each line at least made sense with the others. Cars? Candy? Overtime? WTF is this thing trying to say?! Decomposing Dan is an artist. An artist who happens to look like Bill Nye the Science Guy in the facial area. He's wearing a smock and a cravat, the knees are torn out of his pants, and he only has one shoe. Honestly, this could all be normal artist wear, not anything specifically zombified. The splotches on his palette are probably blood - his paintings are going to be redder than Carpaccio! Rather than simply holding a paint brush, he's holding a severed arm that's holding a paint brush.

Previous Job: Carhop Waitress
Likes: Drag Races At The Drive-In
Dislikes: Pennies & Personal Checks
Favorite Food: Ice Cranium Sundae

You know, between the greaser, the ice cream man, and now the rollershating waitress Moldy Moxie, it really seems like the theme of SLUG Series 4 was "hey, the 1950s; 'member that?" It's a cute figure, with her waitress uniform, rollerskates, and catseye lenses. This is the internet - that's going to be pushing somebody's buttons! She's wearing an apron with an order pad tucked in the pocket, and is carrying a tray loaded with a milkshake and an entire human brain on a bun. Silly girl, that brain won't fit on that bun! Her parted hair is topped with a little pillbox hat.

Series 4 features 16 figures: if you buy the coffin 12-pack (featuring all the figures we've reviewed thus far), you'll still need to buy a few of the three-packs to fill out the ranks. Surprisingly, three of those four figures are all available in one pack:

Previous Job: Tiki Bar Mixologist
Likes: Parrots & Gettin' Caught In The Rain
Dislikes: Disobedient Dogs
Favorite Food: Key Lime Kidney With French Fried Fingers

At last, science has disovered something worse than a Parrot Head: a zombie Parrot Head! He's wearing a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. His calves seem to have both been bitten into - shoulda worn something more protective, you sunburned Northern Florida d-bag! I'm surprised no one's pulled out his earring. Gangrene Gene is wearing a lei, which might be made out of flowers, or might be made out of vertebrae; it's hard to tell. He's carrying a skull with a straw and a tiny umbrella sticking out of it. His right arm is missing below the elbow - I wonder where it may have gone?

Previous Job: Pet To Gangrene Gene
Likes: Fire Hydrants & Squirrels
Dislikes: Rolled Up Newspapers, Piece Mail Pete
Favorite Food: Whatever She Can Sink Her Teeth Into!

Aww, a puppy! And unlike some zombie dogs we could name, Ferocious Frankie's head won't split open to reveal a crazy Resident Evil monster inside. She's definitely decaying, as evidenced by the visible ribs on both sides and the mangy spots on her legs and back. Her tail is inexplicably balding in such a way that she's getting pseudo-poodle puffs. She's wearing a scarf around her neck, so she must have gone to the groomer shortly before getting zombified. She's got Gene's missing right hand in her mouth - so, is she fetching it for him, or did she grab it and run off?

Survival Skill: Sure Fire Aim
Likes: Unloading Two Guns At Once
Dislikes: Cleaning Out Her Hamster's Cage
Favorite Quote: "They Call Me... Johnson."

Yes, "Johnson." Why is she Johnson? I mean, twin guns, ponytail, little backpack, tight T-shirt, booty shorts, combat boots, straps all over everything... there is nothing about this figure that is not Lara Croft, so why the name Johnson? And why is she saying it like James Bond? We can honestly think of not a single reason for it, so if you've got an idea, let us know. She's posed with her guns drawn and held up beside her - pointing them both forward would be most iconic, but harder to get out of a mold in one piece. This is a pretty boring figure: the videogame reference is the only interesting thing about it.

The fourth three-pack exclusive figure is Play-It-Safe Sam, a zombie hunter in a hazmat suit. He was only available with the Brain-Eatin' Barbarian and Moldy Moxie, so I didn't get him.

SLUG Zombies was a really fun line, and it's a damn shame it died when it did: Jakks had put out some posters that gave us a glimpse at future series, and they looked just as cool as the ones we got. Honestly, if you're a fan of minifigures, of zombies, or just of fun designs, you should get any SLUG Zombies you can.

-- 10/06/15

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