I was anxiously awaiting the release of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile. I am one among many in this day and age who are obsessed with true crime podcasts, docos and books. Anything completely against humanity absolutely engrosses me, yet I can’t quite define the phenomena – why are we all so interested in it?
I was intrigued to see our teenage heartthrob, Zac Efron, in a serious role. It would shine a light on understanding the way people saw Bundy; how he was able to use his charm to trick women into trusting him, how he was able to dupe those closest to him. I was interested to see how Hollywood would take on one of the most disgustingly notorious serial killers. And as is habit, before I sat down to watch the movie, I read some reviews.
They were poor.
The general consensus was that they could have done so much more with the movie; that they believed Efron to be too desirable and Bundy was fetishized for the movie; there wasn’t enough about the actual cases, and covered up many of the gory details.
I’m part of the Casefile Podcast Facebook group, and people were commenting on how abysmal they found the movie; they were expecting more blood and gore. They were expecting to see scenes of the murders being acted out. Like, I understand it being in a true crime fans group, that people are fascinated with it… but really?
It has been said from the very beginning that the movie was based upon Elizabeth Kloepfer’s point of view. Especially casting someone like Zac Efron will show the charisma and the arrogance; he plays it so well. I got lost within the movie, forgetting even that he was who he was, and truly seeing Ted Bundy in his eyes.
I don’t want to see blood and gore. I don’t want to see exactly how Ted Bundy humiliated his victim’s in their last hours of their lives. People talk of seeing the movie from Liz’s point of view as fetishizing, and yet, fetishizing is wanting to see all of the gory details of the murders. It is wanting to know exactly what he did and how he did it, instead of acknowledging that he in fact, was a charming man, he was capable of duping those close to him while taking out these acts on other human beings, and then coming home to the loving arms of his fiance and her daughter.
Perhaps people were wanting to see more about the victims themselves, which is fair; but you have to remember that that is over thirty women’s families and loved ones whose murders are a blockbuster. Millions of people around the globe being able to watch what happened to them. Instead, what we are talking about here is that Bundy was capable of doing such things and for his fiance to blame herself the entire time along the way.
I found it fascinating, but perhaps that is more because I am fascinated by the inner workings of people’s minds, blind trust in relationships, and how you may never fully know the person you’re with. I am fascinated by the psychology of people, rather than just the facts of how someone could lack such a profound amount of humanity. If you wanted the details of Ted Bundy’s murders, listen to the countless podcasts, read the books written about him, watch the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix. I would still recommend watching it, but keep an open mind; we’re not here to see how he did it. We’re just here to see that he was human, and he was able to hide that he was shockingly evil.