Director Stephan Elliott fought the film's financier, Mark Damon, over the tone of the film. Elliott envisioned the film as a dark thriller with sex and random lashings of violence. Damon wanted a more A-to-B thriller that he could sell worldwide. Ironically, many of the Asian markets that bought the film wanted a sexier and more violent version of the film.
In his commentary on the DVD, writer/director Stephan Elliott said that he basically wanted to do the film for the scene where Joanna and the Eye are in neighboring rooms, bathing, and they touch through the wall.
The novel from which this film is adapted, and written by Marc Bahm, was originally ordered to the novelist by the producer Philip Yordan and destined to Charlton Heston. But the Ben Hur's actor refused it. Then, Michel Audiard, the French screen writer, bought the rights of this novel and Claude Miller, the French director, brought it on screen, starring Michel Serrault and Isabelle Adjani.