True crime media are the new big niche and Netflix is the pimp that just keeps pumping them out. Documentaries have been their preferred format for the past couple years, but one of the most recent entries into their library of serial killers is “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” where we see Zac Efron put on the mask of Ted Bundy, one of the United States most notorious serial killers.
Examining any media concerning Ted Bundy typically tends to describe him as charming, handsome, charismatic, and just about anything in between. “Extremely Wicked,” really hammers home on this aspect of Bundy, while the film largely focuses on Bundy’s relationship with his girlfriend, who struggles to acknowledge his crimes, which is where we find this movie stray into some dangerous territory.
Efron’s Bundy is insistent that there’s a conspiracy surrounding his interactions with the police, and the movie doesn’t stray away from this idea or really doing anything to indicate he’s misleading the audience and the others until the very end of the movie.
It’s a dangerous and difficult topic to tackle, trying to show the manipulative nature of serial killers while still properly addressing the demonic nature of their intent. Ted Bundy was the kind of man who would have a friendly conversation with a stranger in a Denny’s and then murder some innocent woman in the parking lot thirty minutes later (this didn’t actually happen please don’t sue me Denny’s).
There’s an ethical quandary that comes with biopics on serial killers. One must know the extent of their crimes before viewing it, so I’ve prepared a little bit of rundown so you can ethically watch the movie and be less susceptible to a movie that’s interesting to watch, but not if you’re misinformed.
- There’s no conspiracy, it’s common knowledge Ted Bundy did, in fact, commit all of the crimes he was convicted for.
- While only confessing to 28 murders, it’s speculated that he was actually guilty of hundreds of slayings.
- Real Ted Bundy was not as attractive as Zac Efron is. This doesn’t pertain to Bundy’s disgusting crimes, but I feel inclined to reiterate this point for clarity.
- Romanticizing serial killers can be dangerous, so make sure you’re capable of differentiating an actor playing the role, from the actual human who committed the crimes.
So hopefully I’ve provided enough information on Ted Bundy that you won’t want to bone Zac Efron as sexy Ted Bundy, but maybe that’s your thing, I don’t judge. I’ve heard of much more bizarre things than odd obsessions with serial killers, I just ask that one greatly considers the words that come out of their mouths when talking about people have committed atrocious crimes and have left a wake of families who have lost people because of one man.