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(1997) (Vince Vaughn, Kate Capshaw) (R)

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Drama: A drifter arrives at a 1960's Kansas cattle ranch and disrupts a dysfunctional family's bizarre ways.
Clay Hewitt (VINCE VAUGHN) is a drifter running from trouble who lands in Sealy, Kansas in the early 1960's. After meeting some locals, including foursome Kitty (ASHLEY JUDD), Joel (Daniel Meyer), Earl (PAUL RUDD), and Patsy (Jessica Capshaw), Clay informs them he's looking for work. Earl then takes him to the Ashford cattle ranch where he meets Delilah Ashford Potts (KATE CAPSHAW), a widow who runs the meat farm with a cigarette in one hand, a glass or bourbon in the other, and a seductive glance at any new man. She immediately sets her sights on the newcomer, although Joel is her current sexual servant, and has Clay move into the guest room. Earl shows Clay the ropes about working on a cattle farm and also tells him about Flyboy (JEREMY DAVIES), Delilah's shell shocked twenty-one-year-old who's never been mentally the same since he found his father hanging from a noose several years earlier. Clay immediately wants to help Flyboy, who only talks to his pet bull, and when not fulfilling Kitty's sexual needs, Clay slowly begins to bring him out of his shell. He and Kitty reintroduce Flyboy to the outside world, and this begins to irritate Delilah as does Clay's refusal to be her new boy toy. As Clay's actions unbalance Delilah's sorted, but routine world, she does whatever it takes in order to stop him.
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
For sexuality.
  • VINCE VAUGHN plays a drifter who's running from trouble. He smokes a lot, drinks and has sex with Kitty soon after first meeting her. He does, however, try to help Flyboy (an adult) break out from under his mother's repressive stranglehold. In doing so, though, he introduces Flyboy to booze, cigarettes and sex.
  • KATE CAPSHAW plays the heavy drinking and smoking head of a cattle farm who not only has sex with the hired hands, but also is demeaning and repressive toward her son.
  • JEREMY DAVIES plays an innocent, mentally shell shocked young man who takes up drinking and smoking and wants to lose his virginity all after Clay brings him out of shell.
  • ASHLEY JUDD plays a woman who sleeps with Clay soon after meeting him and drinks and smokes as well.


    OUR TAKE: 8 out of 10
    This strange, but in the end appropriately named film may confuse potential audience members who might think it's a horror film about giant man-eating cicadas. While it doesn't have such monsters and doesn't fall into that genre, it is a tragedy of epic proportions and includes a "monster" of different sorts that goes by the name of Delilah Ashford Potts. Played against type by Kate Capshaw, she's just as mean-spirited and menacing as her on screen horror cousins. Potts is the focal point around which the plot revolves and she's a formidable force with which to be reckoned. Our hero sent to battle the monster comes in the form of Vince Vaughn, who should make most women in the audience swoon over his handsome good looks and hulking, sweaty body, both of which are reminiscent of early Brando and Newman characters. The victim -- and what a victim we have here -- is the monster's offspring who's being held both physically and emotionally captive by her. The battle for Flyboy, the locust himself, is an amazing thing to watch and the winner of the contest is uncertain ‘till the very end. Okay, enough with the monster film analogies.

    This is a fabulous, albeit depressingly tragic film that would make Shakespeare proud. The performances are outstanding all across the board with the best coming from Vaughn and Jeremy Davies. Vaughn, who made his debut and was absolutely terrific in last year's "Swingers," delivers an enjoyable and believable performance. Equipped with nothing more than tightfitting T-shirts, tank-tops and a boyish, but knowing grin, he's certainly the closest to the second coming of Brando and Newman available today. If you're old enough to remember their early films ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," etc..., or have seen them on video, you know what we're talking about and Vaughn falls right in there with them. Davies, who won critical acclaim for his debut in "Spanking the Monkey," steals the picture with his shell-shocked character whose blossom begins to peek out with Clay's help. The performance is tremendous and don't be surprised to see him earn an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor next spring. Capshaw is good playing way against her normal character type. Although she teeters at times of being melodramatic, she certainly creates a memorable and highly despicable character. Judd and the rest of the cast also provide competent performances and the technical merits are also first-rate.

    While the film does take a tragic turn and certainly isn't a happy, feel good movie, it does have those moments and audiences shouldn't be turned off by the depressing sounding story. The scenes where Clay tries to break through Flyboy's shell and finally succeeds are truly heartwarming, often amusing, and extremely well written and acted. Similarly, when Clay and Kitty introduce Flyboy back into the world, the film really takes off. It does this, of course, to make the tragedy that follows all that much greater, and some audience members might give the film low marks for doing so. One shouldn't harshly judge a film for being a tragedy, though, since every film can't have an upbeat ending and many classics fall into that category (think of "Romeo & Juliet"). If a film's going to be tragic, it had better be done well. This feature is, and thus we give "The Locusts" an 8 out of 10.

    Although not many kids will probably want to see this film, here's a quick summary of the content. Several sexual encounters are implied and one involves oral sex that, while not explicitly seen, can't be mistaken for anything else. The film also contains a mother who's emotionally abusive to her grown, but mentally unbalanced son and who does everything she can to keep him from ever changing. That includes countering Clay's attempts at socializing the young man where he teaches him to smoke, drink and plots to help him lose his virginity. All of that sets up a tragic ending, so those who don't like shocking, upsetting finales should be considered warned. Profanity isn't too bad (for an R rated film) but may include 1 "f" word along with other "lesser" words. Beyond that, and granted this film is set in the 1960's when different norms were accepted, there is a great deal of smoking and just a little less drinking. Due to the strong nature of some of the material (that also includes stories of incest and near graphic bull castrations), we strongly suggest that you examine the content before seeing, or allowing your children to see, this film.

  • Clay meets Kitty and her friends while they're drinking beer in a local diner and he has one as well.
  • Kitty picks up Clay and we see Joel passed out in the back of her truck.
  • Delilah is often seen drinking bourbon and appears drunk in one scene (with Joel) and makes Clay drink with her in several scenes.
  • Kitty and Clay drink on several occasions.
  • Kitty gets Flyboy to drink some bourbon.
  • Clay and Flyboy drink beer.
  • Flyboy drinks a lot of liquor before his date and Clay drinks some as well.
  • A bull is castrated (not explicitly seen) and its bloody testicles are thrown into a bucket. Also, the bull's horns are clipped and some blood sprays out. Later, Clay castrates a bull and his shirt is bloody from doing this.
  • A person who commits suicide with a gun has a bloody bullet hole to the chest along with a small stream of blood.
  • Obviously, Delilah has extreme cases of both. Not only does she treat everyone poorly, but she also picks out men for sex (and did so while married) and constantly belittles her son and kills the thing most precious to him as well as his newfound spirit.
  • Clay tells Joel, "I thought country folk were supposed to be friendly. Simple-minded and backwards, but friendly."
  • Some viewers may see Clay's attempts at helping Flyboy (who's 21) lose his virginity as having some (or a lot) of both. He tells Flyboy, "there's nothing better for a guy's confidence then a good roll in the sack." Likewise, Clay gets Flyboy hooked on smoking and both he and Kitty get Flyboy hooked on drinking.
  • Joel picks on Flyboy, and in one scene causes him to drop a stack of lunch plates.
  • Delilah has Joel tie up Flyboy to prevent him from interfering with her mutilating and killing his bull. He then watches in horror as she does just that (at night during a storm).
  • The entire ending turns into one big tense scene as Delilah threatens to turn Clay in to the police and then two deaths occur as everything unravels.
  • Several guns are fired up into the air in a movie playing at the drive in.
  • Handgun: Used by a character to commit suicide.
  • Knife: Used to castrate bulls.
  • Phrases: "Sh*t" for brains," "Shut up," and "Bitch" (Clay calls Delilah that).
  • Clay loudly belches after drinking beer.
  • Bulls are castrated as a normal farm procedure, but some kids might get the idea to do something similar to the family pet or other animals.
  • Two people commit suicide (one by hanging and drowning, the other by gunshot).
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 1 possible "f" word, 3 "s" words, 8 hells, 1 S.O.B., and 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "My God," and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • Joel comments that he and Kitty were "as naked as a bunch of jay birds" when her mom walked in, and when she denies that he comments that she was the one with her skirt up around her neck.
  • Clay asks Joel if he's "whipped" (a phrase often used with a slang term for female genitals).
  • Potts is quite promiscuous and currently has Joel as her sexual servant. It's also mentioned that the guy she was with when discovered by her husband was sixteen.
  • Delilah mentions that her husband was impotent (thus her need to have sex with the farmhands).
  • Kitty and Clay passionately kiss while standing, and she starts kissing down his body and tries to undo his belt, but he stops her. He then kisses down her body and stops at her crotch. She then slides down to the ground where it's implied that he has oral sex with her (sounds are heard and he's seen between her legs). When they're done, he mentions that he doesn't like to get a girl naked on the first date.
  • Flyboy finds Clay's Playboy magazine centerfold and he and we see the woman's partial bare breasts. Later, we see the centerfold again.
  • Clay tells Flyboy about a guy they thought "was queer, but turned out to be a virgin." Clay then sets out to help Flyboy lose his virginity.
  • It's implied that Clay and Kitty have sex as they're seen afterwards in the back of her truck and she's covered only in a blanket (and of course they're smoking). They have sex several more times during the movie (nothing's seen).
  • Flyboy sees Joel zipping up his pants in his mother's bedroom.
  • It's mentioned that Delilah's "type" is "anything with two legs and a zipper in the middle." Later, she tries to seduce Clay and tells him, "Don't get me wrong. I've had better....But I've (also) had worse." Nothing happens between them.
  • Clay tells Flyboy his rules about women: "If a girl says no, just oblige her right away. Most times she'll be saying yes before you get your jeans back on....No matter how bad you want her, you've got to hold back...The first time is tough, but after that, the girls will be beating a path to your tree house."
  • Clay mentions that he had to leave Kansas City because he was having sex with a sixteen-year-old girl and the authorities would have charged him with rape (despite it being consensual).
  • Delilah mentions that since her mother died giving birth to her, she had to assume the wifely responsibilities (ie. Having sex with her father).
  • It's implied that Clay and Delilah have sex (we see him getting dressed afterwards).
  • Clay and Delilah smoke throughout the film.
  • Kitty, Earl and others also occasionally smoke.
  • Clay teaches Flyboy how to smoke and gets him hooked on the habit.
  • We see a 1960's billboard promoting cigarettes.
  • We learn that Flyboy became mentally unbalanced after his father hanged himself (when Flyboy was 13) after finding Delilah in bed with yet another man.
  • Clay mentions that his parents died in a car accident when he was three, and we later learn that his brother died in a war.
  • Delilah isn't happy about Flyboy's mental condition and treats him like a servant. She also belittles him and doesn't want to accept him wanting to change. She squashes his dreams and purposefully has sex with Clay to throw her son into a tailspin. Also, after she kills his pet bull, she tells him that he was responsible for the bull's death.
  • Delilah mentions that since her mother died giving birth to her, she had to assume the wifely responsibilities (ie. Having sex with her father) and that Flyboy's father was her father.
  • Some teens will identify with having a parent who they think wants to squash their dreams or own blossoming.
  • People who've had mental breakdowns.
  • Suicide.
  • Incest.
  • Part of the movie focuses on Clay's attempts at helping Flyboy (who's 21) lose his virginity. In doing so, he tells Flyboy, "there's nothing better for a guy's confidence then a good roll in the sack." He also gives him rules about women: "If a girl says no, just oblige her right away. Most times she'll be saying yes before you get your jeans back on....No matter how bad you want her, you've got to hold back...The first time is tough, but after that, the girls will be beating a path to your tree house."
  • Kitty accidentally hits Clay on the head with a beer bottle.
  • Joel, thinking that Clay's trying to pick up Kitty, picks a fight and throws the first punch at Clay but misses. Clay then punches and knocks Joel to the floor.
  • Kitty throws a rock that breaks Clay's bedroom window and he cuts his foot on the glass.
  • Clay punches Joel several times after he causes Flyboy to drop a stack of lunch plates.
  • We learn that Clay was indirectly responsible for a teen's death.
  • Delilah castrates and kills Flyboy's pet bull.
  • Delilah heaves her bourbon glass at a painting on the wall.
  • Clay starts to strangle Delilah after he realizes she plans on stopping him from taking Flyboy away (he doesn't kill her).
  • At the end two characters commit suicide -- one by hanging and drowning, the other by gunshot.

  • Reviewed September 30, 1997

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