The media has taken on a recent fascination with notorious serial killer Ted Bundy upon the release of recent films and documentaries. The new film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile starring Zac Efron as Bundy takes a fresh look at the life of the mass killer, attempting to understand the mind of one of the evilest men of all time. However, some have spoken out in criticism of the film’s director choosing an actor like Efron to play such a heinous role, according to the Independent.
It’s not difficult to see where the increased interest in Ted Bundy comes from. Bundy was clearly an anomaly, changing the way the world would look at serial killers forever. This was due largely in part to his appearance. The young murderer did not look like a criminal at first glance. He was an attractive man with a college degree. He spoke intelligently and had an eerily calm and composed demeanor. Even after his capture, he was always seen smiling and looking presentable in neat, pressed clothing. Bundy used his appearance to his advantage, at one time even convincing many people of his innocence. In addition, he was an extremely intelligent individual, managing to escape from police custody on several occasions.
However, all of this considered does not take away from the fact that Bundy was an extremely vile criminal who attached no value to human life. He lured young women in and callously took their lives, often disposing of their bodies in the most disrespectful ways possible. This is what viewers should be thinking about when watching the film, not ogling Efron.
Joe Berlinger, the director of the film, wants to make it perfectly clear that the movie in no way attempts to glorify Bundy. He believes that this becomes clear to those that watch the film all the way through.
“I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction,” Berlinger said.
“If you actually watch the movie, the last thing we’re doing is glorifying him. He gets his due at the end, but we’re portraying the experience of how one becomes a victim to that kind of psychopathic seduction.”
Indeed, even Bundy could not evade justice forever. He was executed in 1989 at the Florida State Prison by the electric chair. The release of the film marks the 30-year anniversary of his death.