Ironically, this "pornography expose" was Edward D. Wood Jr.'s last legitimate film before delving into writing softcore pornography himself.
Shot for his friend Edward D. Wood Jr., this was the last feature film for Director of Photography William C. Thompson. The 70 year old Thompson was blind in one eye. His career had started in silent films.
The film includes a fight scene Ed Wood shot for his unfinished project "Hellborn", a.k.a. "Rock and Roll Hell". The scene is edited to include footage of Dino Fantini's character observing the events and some additional dialogue audio to connect the scene to the film's plot. The same fight scene was also used in another of Wood's films, "Night of the Ghouls" (1959).
The Pizza Joint sequences were shot in 1956 for the unfinished film Rock and Roll Hell, also known as Hellborn.
Edward D. Wood Jr. planned a sequel to this film titled "The Peeper", but he was never able to get any funding to film it.
His role as Lt. Matt Carson became the final film appearance for Kenne Duncan, ending a career of approximately 250 films stretching back to silent films.
Clips from this movie featured in the video remix of U2: Numb (1993) by the Emergency Broadcast Network. This mix is the one usually used by U2 when the song is performed live.
The film was influenced as influenced by a box office hit of the time, "Psycho" (June 1960) by Alfred Hitchcock. Both films were about sexually motivated psychopaths, and Reid and Wood likely aimed to capitalize on the similarity of their concepts.
In a certain scene character Johnny Ryde, a director, reflects on the path of his career. "I look at this slush, and I try to remember, at one time, I made good movies." Reviewer Rob Craig suggests that voices the self-reflection of Wood. He started out trying to create serious science fiction films and horror films, only to be reduced to making a sexploitation film.
Conrad Brooks did the stunt-work for when Dirk jumped out of the moving car and rolled down the hill.
In 1959, Ed Wood completed a screenplay titled "The Racket Queen". Producer Roy Reid of Headliner Productions was willing to fund the project, though Wood had to revise his script in early 1960. The result was "The Sinister Urge", which was filmed primarily in July 1960.
Craig suggests that Officer Kline serves as a stand-in for Officer Kelton, a recurring character in Wood films. The main difference between the two characters being that Kelton served as a comic relief, while Kline seems humorless-perhaps because comic relief would seem out of place in a film about violent sexual death.
The inventory of films captured in the police raid is represented by the image of a motion picture editing room, containing numerous film cans. Rob Craig suggests that the scene may depict the actual editing room where Ed Wood edited his films.
The cautionary tale concerning aspiring actresses is similar to "Hollywood Rat Race" (1964), a book written by Ed Wood.
Rob Craig suggests that the film can be seen as an early entry in a new subgenre of exploitation films, the so-called "roughies". These were sexually oriented films which featured sexual violence towards women. This 1960s subgenre was itself derivative of "Psycho" (1960).
The opening scene offers the sight of an attractive woman to the gaze of the, presumably male, audience. The connection between the dark vicarious thrills of a film audience and that of an actual voyeur was both suggested and further explored by "Psycho" (1960) and "Peeping Tom" (1960).
There is some irony in the fact that the film is apparently meant to decry pornography, since most of Ed Wood's later works, such as "Take It Out in Trade" (1970), "Necromania" (1971) and "The Young Marrieds" (1971), were to some degree pornographic.
For Ed Wood this was his last mainstream work as both writer and director. He would subsequently write screenplays for other exploitation films and direct pornographic films.
There are posters for three other films by director 'Edward D. Wood, Jr.' in Johnny Ride's office: Jail Bait (1954), Bride of the Monster (1955), and The Violent Years (1956).
The pizza joint fight scene was shot and used for an earlier Edward D. Wood Jr. film, Night of the Ghouls (1959).
The primary position of the film is that there is a connection between pornography and violence against women. The film in fact suggests one is the cause, and the other the effect. Similar positions have since appeared in sociological writings, such as "Pornography: Men Possessing Women" (1981) by Andrea Dworkin.