Trivia: The 1980 novel "Neighbors" by Thomas Berger (upon which this comic film is based) was actually a much darker and more serious psychological story about a reserved, unexceptional suburbanite going to war with his younger, less-inhibited new neighbors. In fact, the novel's lead character, Earl Keese (played by John Belushi in the movie), actually dies at the end of the book. The film adaptation attempted a lighthearted, almost slapstick approach to the story, allowing Earl Keese to survive and run away with his zany neighbors to pursue a happier life. Ironically, the movie's production was so chaotic (with temperamental conflicts and rampant drug use among the cast and crew) that John Belushi relapsed into heavy addiction and died of an overdose of cocaine and heroin less than four months after the film was released.
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