Bundy’s Back in ‘Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile’


Beth Wolde, Staff

“Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile” is the newest film adaptation of the life of serial killer Ted Bundy. This live action movie takes place after Ted has been placed in police custody, focusing on his relationship with Liz Kendall throughout his trials, balancing her experience of the trial and Bundy’s psychological state throughout everything. Though still having many factual aspects of the trials, the movie is still dramatizing and can’t be deemed completely accurate.

Throughout the beginning of the movie there are several flashbacks of Liz and Ted Bundy’s relationship, ones showing Bundy as a loving partner and almost as a father figure in Liz’s daughters’ life. Bundy acting like a normal all-American guy creates tension as the audio of news reports on the brutal murders plays in the background.

The movie gives hints to Bundy’s psychopathic tendencies throughout the film. When he and Liz are going to get a dog, one of the more aggressive dogs there are terrified of him, further stressing the idea that Liz has no idea who he really is and what he is capable of.

Many arguments have been made that using Zac Efron to play Ted Bundy sexualizes the serial killer. The audience must keep in mind that the film is going off accuracy, thus it may have been a wise choice to cast Efron since Ted Bundy was known to be very charming, and many women during that time believed he was innocent because of his looks. He wooed people into promoting his innocence despite all of the obvious facts that he was guilty.

The portrayal of the characters was very well done, and the casting choices emphasized how intense the film was. This is often a very difficult task for films to do since the movie was a remake of real-life events. Most, if not all, the actors were made up to look very similar to their real-life counterparts. Zac Efron was able to accurately portray many real-life scenarios, such as the interviews broadcasted with Bundy and the public reading of Ted Bundy’s indictment. This, along with Lily Collin’s intense portrayal of Liz spiraling as her whole world falls apart, made the film even more realistic. The use of hair and makeup further emphasized the similarities that the actors have to their real-life counterparts.

The majority of people watching the film already know that Ted Bundy was guilty, so watching him constantly deny his actions creates more frustration for the watcher. He’s constantly found guilty, escapes, and even punches an officer, but continues to deny everything that is obviously he has done. His constant avocation for his innocence is almost believable to the watchers, even though it’s known that he is guilty.

The movie also shows another side to Bundy’s life and offers a closer look into his love life and the effect of the trial on the people around him, in particular, his girlfriend, Liz Kendall.

Liz sees the man she loves and believes he would never be able to commit these murders because she’s never seen that side of him. She spirals into depression, excessively drinking because she blames herself for his demise, and doesn’t want to accept that he’s guilty. Though Bundy was proven guilty, watchers are still able to see the love he has towards Liz and how much they cared for each other. This makes it harder for us to view Ted as the monster we know he is.

The movie concludes with the moment everyone’s been waiting for, Bundy’s confession. This riveting scene is scattered throughout the film but finally is pieced together in the end. Liz finally confronts Bundy on how much he’s put her through, which is a revealing moment for her since she is finally able to relieve the guilt she felt for giving the police his name and is finally able to let go.