So Vam is playing now on Shudder.
We have always been passionate supporters of new talent here at Cinerama Film, and Alice Maio Mackay is undoubtedly someone to watch. So Vam is Alice Maio Mackay’s feature debut following a string of short films, but even more impressive is that she co-wrote, directed and produced the film at the tender age of just sixteen! It’s a remarkable achievement, even if the final movie lacks focus and feels slightly too long, given the screenplay’s limitations. But even more impressive is that So Vam was made by queer people for queer people, every scene and line embracing the queer experience, from feelings of isolation to bullying and the need to find your tribe. Here So Vam celebrates queer identity while never shying away from the darkness that can surround the coming out journey.
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Kurt (Xai) is an aspiring drag artist trying to get by in conservative small-town Australia. Kurt is constantly the subject of abuse and bullying, with his dad (Brendan Cooney) more interested in his damaged older brother. But at least Kurt has Katie (Erin Paterson), his only real friend and confidant, until, that is, Kurt meets Landon (Asimos), April (Hyland) and Harley (McErlean), a group of queer vigilante bloodsuckers who target the town bigots.
There is more than a fleeting nod to The Lost Boys in the story that ensues, as MacKay explores themes of peer group, identity and belonging at a price. Here So Vam wears its queer credentials with pride. However, as with many low-budget productions, there are problems, from the clunky screenplay to occasionally stilted performances and a slightly rough final edit. But for a debut feature from someone so young, So Vam shows enormous potential, and I have no doubt Alice Maio Mackay’s work will only grow in its strength and artistry. So Vam isn’t afraid to bare its teeth, and while it won’t appeal to everyone, I have no doubt it will find a dedicated audience on Shudder.
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So Vam shows enormous potential for a debut feature from someone so young, and I have no doubt Alice Maio Mackay’s work will only grow in its strength and artistry.