The film was a major departure from De Palma's usual oueuvre of suspense and obsession. Much of the comedy has its roots in the traditional British absurdist sense of humor associated with the likes of Monty Python and The Goon Show. Crittenden's screenplay is filled with oddball characters and bizarre situations, such as a bomber who is put on hold when he calls to announce his device will explode in six minutes, or a beautiful young woman who confesses to Donald her crush on the paper boy prompted her to prostitute herself so she could afford a newspaper subscription.
De Palma completed the film in 1970 but it wasn't released by Warner Bros. until two years later. Uncertain how to market it, the studio did little to promote it and the movie quickly disappeared from theaters.