The upcoming Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and, Vile looks to be an interesting take on the infamous serial killer. The Zac Efron led film is seeing some backlash however after the trailer was dropped with some accusing the film of romanticizing and glorifying the serial killer. Bundy who confessed to the murder of 30 women in the 1970s is definitely a vile figure in history and well, Efron is hot and the trailer portrayed him as fairly charming.
Then again, it makes sense to do so cause that’s how Bundy had to lure in his victims so it seems like the film is taking the right steps to properly depict the serial killer’s persona. Some people aren’t really on board with that and the film’s director has some things to say about it.
Speaking to Bustle, director Joe Berlinger defended his film highlighting how the film needs to take into account Bundy’s approach when luring his victims in and that in no way is it attempting to glorify him. He said:
“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, because 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.”
Bundy gained the trust of many of his victims before he showed his horrific side and it is imperative that the film highlights this. You wouldn’t expect him to have had actually behaved erratically at first before gaining their trust cause he probably wouldn’t have been a very good serial killer if he had done so. Berlinger further discussed how some may assume that a film like this should not be made, highlighting that no topic should be ‘off limits’ when it comes to film. He further explains:
“Look, there have been a lot of movies about Adolf Hitler and about the Holocaust, but if somebody were to have a new angle as a way of illuminating some aspect of the human condition or aspect of that particular story… I think telling filmmakers any subject matter is off limits is a very slippery slope that leads us to Trump declaring that the media is ‘fake news,’ I think there should be no censoring of subject matter, if it’s done responsibly. And even if it’s done irresponsibly, people have the right to tell any story they want to tell.”
That is so damn true! Films based on real life events and people that are morally abhorrent tend to get some flack especially when the film highlights the “cooler” aspects of this subject matter. The Wolf of Wall Street also got a lot of s–t for showcasing the exorbitant lifestyle of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Dicaprio) which he gained from engaging in rampant corruption and fraud through his career as stockbroker. That film was a comedy however and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile is going the more crime/thriller route so we’re probably going to see a different response once the film is out in theaters.