Updated: Jun 3
Even guys as hot as Zac Efron can be serial killers.
By Tate Coan, Online Editor
The unique perspective of the new Ted Bundy movie is exactly the wake-up call the public needs.
The new film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” directed by Joe Berlinger, portrays the life of the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron, and shows us that murderers do not always match up with the preconceived ideas we have of them.
In the trailer, Bundy and his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer - played by Lily Collins - are shown as a normal couple: kissing, cooking and interacting with her child, whom Bundy refers to as Monkey. That illustration is then contrasted with a shot of Bundy hitting a victim with a crowbar and later dragging a body through the woods. This depiction of Bundy has angered many people on the internet who claim the movie is romanticizing Bundy, when that is far from the truth.
According to IMDb, the movie illustrates Bundy’s life from the perspective of his girlfriend, who falls victim to his manipulation. She fell in love with him, which is why the movie portrays him as someone to fall in love with. Essentially, this is the story of how Kloepfer became his victim, which is an important perspective to tell. She didn’t go into the relationship thinking he was a murderer because he convinced her otherwise. It’s the ultimate narrative of an abusive relationship.
According to Biography.com, Kloepfer wrote a book where she describes herself as a shy and lonely single mother. She desperately wanted a father figure for her daughter, Tina, who could take care of the two of them.
"I handed Ted my life and said, 'Here. Take care of me.' He did in a lot of ways,” said Kloepfer in her book, “but I became more and more dependent upon him. When I felt his love, I was on top of the world; when I felt nothing from Ted, I felt that I was nothing."
In an interview with IMDb, Berlinger said, “Looking at the impact on the victim and how we become seduced by a serial killer really is just why I wanted to make the film.”
Bundy was a young, white, well-mannered law student who grew up in a seemingly average family and “didn’t look like anybody’s notion of somebody who would tear apart young girls,” according to Stephen Michaud during an interview for the Netflix series, “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.”
These things sound similar to the things said about rapists when their victims come forward: But he’s such a nice guy. The belief that all criminals and murderers can’t be good looking or seem nice is dangerous. Murders aren’t terrible people in all actions of their life. They get coffee, hold doors open for people, have pets, children, families, jobs and interact with the real world like many other normal people. Thinking otherwise is naive and exactly what Bundy preyed on.
The film does not glorify Bundy, but shows how a man fooled the people close to him as well as the whole world. This portrayal shows the audience that these so-called “monsters” are not always unattractive men hiding in bushes, tripping over their words. They are sometimes charming and good-looking people that you’ve let into your life, who you think you can trust until they break you.