10 months after independently produced spy thriller The Cucaracha Club had its world premiere in Torrevieja, it has received a 12A certificate from the BBFC. Now the film can be distributed on general release in cinemas. That means the production company can recover some of the production costs. More importantly, they can build the budget for The Cucaracha Club 2: The Route of All Evil, which is already written and ready to go into production in the autumn of 2017.
What started as a pipe dream for screenplay writer Billie Anthony Gaddess now looks set to turn into a trilogy of films made exclusively in and around Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca. Billie had never written a screenplay before, but with the collaboration and assistance of Philip Routledge, and the sterling work of director Rai Woods, who trained Billie and Clive Gray in the roles of executive producers, this quality spy thriller can now be shown to audiences all over Europe and beyond.
Although he has worked for ITN and Ulster Television, and with renowned directors such as John Schlesinger and Clive Donner in his long career in broadcasting, Rai has never independently directed a full length feature film. He wasn’t keen to direct this one, but when the original production team backed out less than five weeks before filming was scheduled to start, there wasn’t any other option.
Clive Gray even set up Siesta Productions Limited to get the film off the ground and in the can. It’s much easier for proper companies to get permissions for location filming and using props such as the Delfin submarine which featured in the film. Even a new company can work miracles. Siesta Productions obtained permission to film in Torrevieja’s magnificent marina – something Eon Productions failed to achieve for the James Bond series!
Reading through all this, it’s a minor miracle that the film ever made it to the certification stage in the first place. The Cucaracha Club’s star Tom Watt, best known as genial barman Lofty Holloway from Eastenders, is full of praise for the cast and production team. In an exclusive interview about the making of the film, Tom said:
‘It’s amazing that this film ever got made, and it’s a tribute to the enthusiasm and collective talents of everyone involved that it’s now ready for distribution. Together, we all achieved so much more than any of us could have accomplished individually.’
That’s praise of the highest order from an actor, writer and producer with Tom’s impressive CV, and the finished product is a testament to the enthusiasm and collective expertise of everyone involved in the making of The Cucaracha Club. The acting is good, the locations are stunning, and the cinematography is up there with the best. There are fast cars, even faster women, and jet skis and a submarine. Amazingly, this was all achieved on a production budget of just €23,000. The classic cars alone are worth three times that amount, but they were generously loaned and maintained during filming by the Haughton family of Venture Fleet Garage, Los Montesinos.
For the first time since MASH back in 1970, The Cucaracha Club is the only low budget film to have music specially written for it. Songwriter Peter Taylor from Los Montesinos wrote three songs which are performed by Chloe Leigh, Stevie Spit and Verity Jo Spencer Hall.This really is a local production. MASH brought fame to Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, and that was also full of mainly unheard-of actors, so watch this space for a repetition of film history!
Music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKqybLoo0JM
Image credits: Siesta Productions Limited