On the surface, the town of Broken Hill and its surrounds is beautifully captured on film in new thriller Locusts. The story follows Ryan Black (Ben Geurens) who having long-escaped the outback town to make his success in the big city, returns for his father’s funeral. Dressed to kill in a 007-like suit and driving the latest Mercedes along dusty roads would attract anyone’s attention. For Black however, it attracts the wrong kind, and a criminal underbelly is soon exposed.
After burying his father, Black comes face to face with Ty, his ex-con brother (Nathaniel Dean). It’s a tense reunion; Ty is a loner that time left behind. The two brothers become victims; Ty, the target of a kidnapping plot designed to bleed Black dry of cash.
Forced to resort to extreme measures, Black teams up with an ex-childhood sweetheart to double-cross the small time criminals and save his brother. Time will reveal Black is not the successful businessman he makes himself out to be.
Locusts was partly inspired by writer, Angus Watts’ upbringing in the New South Wales’ town of Quirindi, which experienced hard times in the 1970s with drought and erosion ravaging the area. Watts also drew inspiration from the boom-bust impact of the mining boom on regional Queensland communities, which he witnessed through his work as a radiologist.
There’s a couple of holes in the story and some performances stilted. Locusts co-stars other top Australian talent including Peter Phelps, Steve Le Marquant, Caroline Brazier, along with a special appearance of Angry Anderson.
Following its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Gold Coast Film Festival in 2019, and a series of high-profile festival outings including Festival de Cannes’ Marche du Film and the Newport Beach Film Festival in the US, Locusts is screening at these cinemas, with more to come. Check your local guides.
Premiere Cast and Crew Q&A screenings:
GOLD COAST – Saturday October 19, Reading Harbourtown Cinemas
NAMBOUR – Thursday November 7, Majestic Cinemas
About Locusts film
Director: Heath Davis
Writer: Angus Watts
Stars: Ben Geurens, Nathaniel Dean, Andy McPhee, Peter Phelps, Caroline Brazier, Steve Le Marquand.