Scam: ‘lost’ Melbourne comedy film finally released 22 years on

Comedy-thriller Scam was a low-budget but ambitious 2001 film thought to be lost in a house fire – until now.

Thought lost for two decades, writer-director Cameron McCulloch’s 2001 crime comedy Scam is finally being released on Digital and Disc this week by Bounty Films.

After a house fire destroyed a large chunk of footage, many believed Cameron McCulloch’s debut film Scam to be lost forever. Now, 22 years on, McCulloch credits the lengthy COVID lockdowns with giving him the time he needed to recover the flick.

Scam stars Kestie Morassi (Wolf CreekBlack Snow) as Kim, a small-time scam artist desperate to move up the ranks of Melbourne’s seedy criminal underworld. However, she faces stiff competition from Ben (Stuart Orr), her crime boss father’s newly anointed apprentice.

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Scam is described as ‘a loving ode to the 90s new wave of crime films that were spawned in the wake of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs’, but made with a mere $5,000 budget and a cast of unknowns.

Representatives of Bounty Films say that Scam ‘is the kind of film not often made in Australia: a funny, subversive, violent, action-comedy about the lives of criminals and cops.’ It also has a masturbating clown.

Scam is now available to stream globally on Google Play, YouTube Movies and Vimeo On Demand. It is also available on DVD and Blu-ray via Amazon, Walmart and Barnes & Noble

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports