At one point, Warren Stacy (Gene Davis) picks up a police radio, and it reads: "Code 6, Florence and Normandie". Nine years later, the largest riot in Los Angeles' history, also known as "The Rodney King Riots", would break out at that very same inter-section.
After attending a screening of the film, Producer Pancho Kohner took Charles Bronson and his wife Jill Ireland to a trendy sushi restaurant to celebrate. During the dinner, Kohner noticed that Bronson was quiet and seemed down. Thinking Bronson didn't like the film, Kohner told him to cheer up and that it was a good film. Bronson told him that it wasn't the film, it was just that he hated sushi.
The film was inspired by real-life cases. The first was Richard Speck's murders of eight student nurses. The second was when a Scotland Yard investigator got fired from his job for planting evidence to convict a Thames River killer, and it turned out that the killer committed three murders before being convicted. The third case is that of Ted Bundy -to whom the actor playing the killer (Gene Davis) bears a striking resemblance- in that Bundy murdered young and beautiful women, he was good-looking and drove a Volkswagen Beetle.
The 16th March 1983 edition of show-business trade paper 'Variety' said "the title means nothing in the context of the film" and "J. Lee Thompson's direction, borrowing from Hitchcock [Alfred Hitchcock]'s editing in Psycho (1960), creates the full horror of blades thrusting into naked bellies without the viewer ever actually seeing it happen".
This movie's original script title was "Bloody Sunday". Producer Pancho Kohner has said that he and Cannon Group chairman Menahem Golan gave this movie its "10 To Midnight" title despite it having no apparent relevance to the film's story, after Kohner successfully pitched the title, Bronson in the lead, and a description of "great action and great danger and great revenge" to buyers without a script, then "scrambled to find a story" and settled on the already-written "Bloody Sunday" screenplay. Later, marketing for the movie did suggest a connection with the title: the theatrical release movie poster presented artwork with the villain character's arms forming the 11:50 pm time (10 to Midnight) on a clock-face whilst the movie's DVD tagline read: "A cop. A killer. A deadline".
This movie's title has sometimes erroneously been called "From Ten To Midnight". Charles Bronson once starred in a movie called From Noon Till Three (1976). Some sources prior to production of the picture during development have stated the film's title being "From Ten To Midnight" thereby indicating retrospectively that it was a working title for the movie.
One of two Charles Bronson cinema movie vehicles that film critic Roger Ebert gave a "zero stars" rating, the other was Death Wish II (1982)). 10 to Midnight (1983) arguably got the worse review with Ebert's opening sentence calling the film "a scummy little sewer of a movie."
The tagline on the original theatrical release movie poster for this film read: "Forget what's legal ... do what's right!" whilst other tag-lines have stated: "Bronson is back on the streets" and "Back in town... with a vengeance!". At the time of release, these tag-lines connected with Charles Bronson's vigilante persona from his box-office hit Death Wish (1974) and its sequel Death Wish II (1982). The character that Bronson plays in this movie is actually a variation on his vigilante screen persona.
The film's story-line was originally intended to involve a vigilante played by Charles Bronson who sought out terrorists. The 24th March 1982 edition of show-business trade paper 'The Hollywood Reporter' indicated this with a full-page advertisement declaring the picture to be "an international thriller". At some point, the film's plot was changed to Bronson playing a cop, with the antagonist being a serial killer, but with the vigilante theme retained.
Debut theatrical feature film of actor Neal Fleming. This was announced in the 2nd December 1982 edition of show-business trade paper 'The Hollywood Reporter'. The movie appears to remain his first, final, and only ever filmed production credit.
The French title, "Le Justicier de Minuit", reinforced the wrong impression that the film belonged to the "Death Wish" franchise. The word "Justicier" (meaning "righter of wrongs") was indeed strongly attached to the two previously released "Death Wish" features.
Warren Stacy (Gene Davis) kills in the nude so he won't get blood on his clothes so in effect there's no evidence to link him to his crimes. This is why he exclaims, "That's impossible!" when Leo Kessler (Charles Bronson) tells Stacy's attorney (Geoffrey Lewis) that they found blood on his clothing.