The Locusts
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The Locusts is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by John Patrick Kelley and starring Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Davies, Kate Capshaw, Paul Rudd, and Ashley Judd. The score was composed by Carter Burwell.


In 1955, drifter Clay Hewitt (Vince Vaughn) wanders into a small Kansas town seeking employment to finance a visit to his older brother in California. He develops a relationship with local beauty queen Kitty (Ashley Judd) and befriends farmhand Earl (Paul Rudd), who gets him a job at a local cattle farm owned by wealthy widow Delilah Ashford Potts (Kate Capshaw), known for maintaining sexual relationships with her young employees. Delilah’s husband committed suicide after catching her cheating on him. Clay rejects Delilah’s advances, and quickly develops a rivalry with her latest lover, Joel Carter (Daniel Meyer).

Clay befriends Delilah’s sensitive and introverted son, Joseph “Flyboy” Potts (Jeremy Davies), who has just returned from a psychiatric institution and whose only companion is his late father’s aging pet bull. Flyboy was institutionalized for eight years after finding his father’s corpse as a child, and is constantly emasculated by Delilah by being forced to cook and clean for the farmhands, who frequently mistreat him. Clay takes Flyboy under his wing and confides to him that his older brother died in an accident two years prior. At Clay’s suggestion, Flyboy asks Delilah to be allowed to work with the animals at the farm. Delilah responds by having Joel tie up Flyboy and force him to watch as she castrates Flyboy’s pet bull, which bleeds to death. Horrified by Delilah’s cruelty, Joel ends their romance and leaves the farm, and Delilah departs soon afterwards for a business trip.

Clay admits to Kitty that he is on the run from the authorities after being wrongfully blamed for the death of an old girlfriend in his hometown – They were having sex in a pool when she slipped and broke her neck. He plans to skip town, and enlists her help to teach Flyboy how to stand up for himself before leaving. Kitty sets Flyboy up with one of her friends, but when she attempts to get intimate, Flyboy breaks down and admits to Clay that Delilah sexually abused him when he was a child and arranged for his father to catch them, driving him to suicide, for which Flyboy blames himself. Disgusted, Clay decides to take Flyboy with him.

While Flyboy and Kitty wait for him at the lake, Clay returns to the farm to retrieve his payment and is confronted by Delilah, who has learned about the criminal charges against him. Delilah reveals that she became pregnant from being raped by her father, whom she killed in a fit of rage. Her husband, an old friend of her father, agreed to marry her and raise Flyboy as his own child to spare her the shame, but Delilah could never bring herself to love either of them, and instead sought to destroy them. She blackmails Clay into having sex with her in exchange for not turning him in. Flyboy returns to the farm to search for Clay and finds him in bed with Delilah, as she had intended. Heartbroken, Flyboy commits suicide in the same manner as his father did. An enraged Clay goes after Delilah, but she shoots herself before he gets to her. Kitty arrives and comforts Clay as he mourns Flyboy’s death, and they then leave town together.


  • Kate Capshaw as Delilah Ashford Potts
  • Jeremy Davies as Joseph Flyboy Potts
  • Vince Vaughn as Clay Hewitt
  • Ashley Judd as Kitty
  • Paul Rudd as Earl
  • Daniel Meyer as Joel Carter
  • Jessica Capshaw as Patsy
  • Jess Robertson as Ellen
  • Jimmy Pickens as Cameron
  • Jerry Haynes as Harlen, The Bartender
  • Jason Davis as Wrangler


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 18% based on reviews from 11 critics.

Bull castration controversy

A test screening experienced several audience members leaving the theater with their hands over their mouths after seeing a scene with a full graphic bull castration. MGM s marketing chief responded in the Los Angeles Times that the audience members must have reacted only to what they expect to see with MGM president of worldwide distribution Larry Gleeson adding You can do anything to a human being, but just don t hurt an animal.

Year 1997
ReleaseDate 1997-10-03
RuntimeMins 124
RuntimeStr 2h 4min
Plot A drifter enters a small town looking for employment. While working at the local cattle ranch, he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Kitty and becomes involved in a deadly yet erotic love triangle.
Awards Awards, 1 win & 2 nominations
Directors John Patrick Kelley
Writers John Patrick Kelley
Stars Kate Capshaw, Jeremy Davies, Vince Vaughn
Produced by Adam Duritz,Mark Ezralow,Bruce Franklin,Garrett Grant,Cynthia Guidry,Beth Holden-Garland,Brad Krevoy,Steven Stabler,Bradley Thomas,Charles B. Wessler
Music by Carter Burwell
Cinematography by Phedon Papamichael
Film Editing by Erica Flaum,Kathryn Himoff
Production Design by Sherman Williams
Art Direction by Roy Metcalf
Set Decoration by Sally Nicolaou Hamilton
Costume Design by Gail McMullen
Makeup Department Andre Blaise,Clare M. Corsick,Melanie Hughes,Deborah Humphries,Ben Nye III,Heidi Seeholzer
Production Management Eric Bergman,Garrett Grant,Jeff Ivers,Scott Niemeyer
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Bruce Franklin,Molly M. Mayeux,Courtney Wulfe
Art Department Belinda Botha,Pavel Cantu,Jeffery A. Chavers,Dennis Collins,Phyllis Detrich,Hannah Evans,Kelley A. Hankins,Jeffrey B. Hartmann,Tuesday Henneman,Lora Ann Hoglund,Teodor Istratescu,Spanky Lofland,Chad Loucks,Heather Meno,Cee Moravec,Dustin C. Newcomb,Adele Plauche,Cesar Quintanilla,Gen Quintanilla,Brandon Rivera,Christopher Stull,Debra Sugarman,Wallace R. Symns,David Vance,Brian Zievart
Sound Department Andre Bacha,Dario Biscaldi,Barney Cabral,Patrick Cabral,Patricia Conaway Lamberti,Pud Cusack,Rickley W. Dumm,Eric Flickinger,William B. Johnston,Trevor Jolly,Adam Kay,Michael Keller,Gerry Lentz,Kimaree Long,Julie Lucas,Nick Neutra,Perry Robertson,Scott Sanders,Melissa Sherwood Hofmann,David A. Smith,Christina Tucker,Richard Weingart,Drew Woodley,James Wright
Special Effects by Lars Sloan
Stunts Robert Brubaker,Jackson Burns,Mike Dickey,Jody Haselbarth,Chris Howell,Clint Lilley,David Sanders,Spike Silver
Camera and Electrical Department Saeed Adyani,David Ariniello,Lee Auerbach,Ty Chennault,Dennis Clay,Sven Dagones,Sean Devine,Sam Douglas,Ray Garcia,Steven A. Guerrero,Adam Harrison,Patrick Hoeschen,Alexandra Kravetz,Mark A. Lindsay,David McGill,Mark Mims,Kevin Parker,Chris Rebich,Robert B. Reynolds,John Sheeren,William Skinner,Joshua Solson,Rafael E. Sánchez,Glenn Watson,Louis Yanez
Casting Department Barbara Harris,Sari E. Keigley,Mark Kubiak
Costume and Wardrobe Department Denverly Grant,Lee Hunsaker,Danielle Valenciano
Editorial Department Jenifer Chatfield,Susan Davis,Aine Farrell,Debra Gavlak,Mike Healy,Paul O’Driscoll,Smith Timsawat
Location Management Matt Cook,Susan Elkins,Chris Ingersoll,Manuel Renteria
Music Department Spring Aspers,Marcus Barone,Manish Raval,Brian Richards,Adam Milo Smalley,Happy Walters,Tom Wolfe
Script and Continuity Department Patricia A. Fullerton
Transportation Department Ben Brown,Mark Brown,Robert Brubaker,Paul S. Ellis,Bill Gilbert,Bobby Keigley,Joe Llanes,Darold Lockler,Michael McMahan,R.D. Orsagh,Kenneth Parrish,Graham Ready,Dallas Smalley,Frank Wright
Additional Crew Theodore Ambrosini,John Bates,Linda Brattain,Warren Davis II,Smoky Davis,Brian Dear,Connie Douglas,Terry Edinger,Susan Fowler,Bradley Frank,Jorge A. Gallego,Corey Gray,Carol Green,Kimberly Green,Jim Gregory,Chris Hamala,Jennifer Hamilton,Bill Hansard Jr.,Don Hansard,Waleed Hassan,Cathryn C. Holmesly,Matthew Howell,West Humphries,Sandra K. Jantzen,Jay Johnson,Nancy Johnston-Walker,Joanna L. Rees Jones,Kay Kim,Kristin Kubiak,Donald R. Lawson,Chris Mannal,Linda Mims,Adam Moos,Douglas Morton,Dina M. Nitti,Rex Perrard,Debi Quan,Jade Ramsey,Steve Ransohoff,Todd Redilla,Joseph Sam,Amaryvis Sierra,Carmen Thomson,Holly Williamson,Erin Wright,Megan Wright,John H. Wu,Homer Jon Young
Thanks J. Barrish,Larry Blake,P. Todd Coe,Clint Culpepper,Carl Ferrano,Jay Gallagher,Danna Hyams,Meghan Kelley,René López,Al Martin,Charlene Martin,Nick Meyer,Jack Moore III,Philippe Morotti,Peter Schlessel,Steven Spielberg,Virginia Waters
Genres Drama
Companies Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), Orion Pictures, Renegade Films
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.1
ImDbRatingVotes 1936
Keywords family secret,domineering mother,dark secret,shower,incest