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Film / The Catcher

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The Catcher is a 1998 horror film directed by Guy Crawford and Yvette Hoffman.

In Taft, California, 1981, Johnny is a unassuming baseball hopeful who turned against his stern and demanding father and beat him to death with a baseball bat on a baseball diamond field. 17 years later, Johnny is released from the local insane asylum and begins a killing spree, with his father's ghost as an umpire.

The Catcher contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Johnny's father is a 'Sports Dad': driving his son so hard to be perfect in baseball that it reaches the point of physical abuse. Johnny snaps and beats his dad to death with a baseball bat.
  • Ass Shove: Billy is killed by being taped to a bench and having a baseball bat shoved up his ass. Said bat had "Will You Marry Me?" written on it.
  • Ball Cannon: Coach Foster is murdered by being strung up in front of a pitching machine and pummeled with baseballs.
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  • Batter Up!: Unsurprisingly for a baseball-themed serial killer, the Catcher uses a baseball bat as his primary weapon.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Terry is being strangled by Johnny when Johnny is cracked over the head with a baseball bat. The camera pulls back to reveal Beth; who had been knocked unconscious and stuffed into a washing machine earlier in the film.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: No real reason is ever given for why Johnny is killing people, we're simply left to assume that his father's abuse has made him hate baseball so much that he feels compelled to murder anyone who plays it.
  • Improvised Weapon: Coach Foster stabs the killer in the shoulder with the screwdriver he had been using to adjust the pitching machine.
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  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Anthony and his girlfriend decide to have sex on the ball field.
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  • Neck Lift: Johnny does this to Carl after he catches him in the corridor. Even more remarkable, he hoists Carl up using his injured arm.
  • Peekaboo Corpse: Terry and Carl are startled when they discover Billy's corpse hanging from the ceiling in the tunnels under the ballpark.
  • Self Offense: At the climax, Johnny and Walker are struggling with each other on the diamond, dressed in identical catcher's outfits. Terry grabs a splintered bat and stabs who she thinks is Johnny in the back, only to realize she actually stabbed Walker when Johnny grabs her from behind.
  • Spirit Advisor: Johnny believes that his murder spree is being guided and critiqued by the ghost of his father. At the end of the film, the ghost can still be heard berating Johnny even after his death.
  • Stage Mom: Johnny's father is the Sports Dad version: obsessively driving his son towards perfection in baseball.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Anthony is relaxing in the whirlpool bath when the coach tells him he better let his girlfriend's head up or she is going to drown. After the coach leaves, a girl emerges from under the water.


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