Thursday, April 4, 2013

Arse-Bat Rapepants: The Catcher (1998)

The Catcher (1998)
Rating: *1/2
Starring: David Heavener, Monique Parent, Joe Estevez

This is one proof that when slashers get real desperate for ideas, they'll flunk. Hard.

Imagine watching Friday the 13th or Halloween done under a sports theme, which in this case is baseball, America's favorite past time! We got the opening trauma, where the world's worst dad begins beating up his own son because the kid couldn't pitch, only to be killed when the kid finally mans up and got even! Next thing you know we're flash-forwarding to upteen years later and some guy in a catcher's mask is killing off team members, coaches and managers from that baseball season's losing team ala sports-themed murders. We know it's the kid, but whether he's one of the team mates or not is this movie's little mystery treat for us. Not like that's been done a hundred times already, right?

Fuck yeah, it was.

The Catcher is a shot-on-video trash that deserves very little or no praises at all despite its intentions being on the right places. While the idea of a baseball themed slasher might be a winning catch in paper, execute that with the worst set of casts I've seen since Troma's Dark Side of Midnight (1984), trippy editing that looks like its been done with Adobe Powerpoint, and a lazy direction where 77 minutes of cheap horror feels like an eternity only to end with something so anti-climactic, and you might as well hurl yourself off your window for a better night of "excitement".

Giving a few considerations though, I do appreciate the film a little more as an unintentional comedy, as the killer's lame disguise makes you wonder how hard is it to make up some guy's face behind a mask that exposes too much, or that some of the kills here were imaginative enough to do a full attack on logic or shock value. (The butt-fuck scene could count as this movie's highlight. I never saw that coming...)

There's not really a lot of insight I can give to this movie since it's literally like any other slashers out there, only decked in a baseball uniform. I might understand that the people behind this movie could have been attempting something new and fresh to the slasher formula that didn't involve deformed mongoloids or silent killers in Halloween masks, but it ain't worth it if we're gonna end up suffering from a crap like this. Funny thing is that this isn't the only baseball themed slasher out there, not with titles like Devon's Ghost: The Legend of Bloody Boy (2005), the Australian Cricket variant I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (2008), or the really superior Billy Club (2013). I guess a lot of people sees the hack and slash potentials in a game where players are allowed to wield a common murder weapon.

Wherever you stand, The Catcher (1998) is and always will be a wasted opportunity on my book. A lot of good planning, very little productivity. Just like a baseball team with a ten year losing streak...

1 male bludgeoned to death with baseball bat
1 male beaten to death with baseball bat
1 male had a baseball bat shoved into his arse
1 male had his face kicked in
1 male shot repeatedly with pitching machine
1 male had his neck broken
1 male thrown down the stairs
1 male stabbed on the back with broken baseball bat
1 male beaten to death with baseball bat
Total: 9


  1. It felt wrong that I thought the bat up the butt death was genuinely hilarious, from the editing making it look like to an outright rape, to the bat reading "Will You Marry Me?" to the inevitable line about how Billy always had a stick up his ass.