Thirty years since his execution for the violent murder and abuse of dozens of young women, it seems Ted Bundy is making headlines once again.
Bundy was executed by electric chair in January 1989 in Florida. Before his death, he confessed to 30 homicides, committed across seven states in America between 1974 and 1978. It is feared, however, that the real number of victims is much higher.
One director, Joe Berlinger, is now making sure Bundy’s harrowing story is remembered.
Not content with his four-part documentary on Netflix, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which uses hundreds of hours of taped interviews with Bundy to recount his crimes, Berlinger also has a dramatised film about the serial killer coming out this year.
You can watch the trailer for Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes here:
With the documentary now available on Netflix, Berlinger has set his sights on his film about Bundy, titled Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
The movie stars Zac Efron as the notorious killer, but the film is told from his girlfriend’s point of view, Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins.
Anyone who has seen the new documentary will have noticed how Bundy can’t help but smile any time he’s on camera. He comes across as intelligent, polite, almost charming. As both films show, he even manages to maintain relationships with women oblivious to his true self.
To some people, however, it seems Berlinger has taken this nice, ‘family man’ persona too far in the trailer for his new film, and are disconcerted by the jovial atmosphere apparent in the trailer for a film about an evil serial killer.
You can watch the trailer here:
Commenting on the clip, one person wrote:
This looks way too… fun… for a movie about a serial killer.
oh man….the tone of this trailer is all wrong
A third wrote:
Love Zac Efron and he looks like he’s doing a good job here but I almost feel like they’re trying to make this film something fun and making Ted Bundy seem misunderstood. He murdered dozens of innocent young women. That shouldn’t be glorified or made light of. I know this is the first trailer but the music and the way it was cut makes the movie seem like we’re gonna watch a nice guy named Ted who just, whoops, kills people, be a misunderstood good guy who loves his family.
I’ve got to be honest – big fan of Zac here, wouldn’t want to him change or go all Christian Bale in The Machinist or anything, but – after seeing the recent documentary – we all know Bundy was not so darn ripped!
Then again, this is a dramatised version of true story, so perhaps some creative license has been employed. Bundy was, by all accounts, an incredibly charming man who utilised that when he wanted to lure in his victims.
If you want the truth, check out the documentary, if you want a slightly fictionalised, very hench Bundy, check out the film. It doesn’t change the horrific things he did in real life, and I suppose Berlinger can say he’s at least presenting both sides with his two films.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile premieres January 26 at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and will be released in cinemas later this year.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.