“I don’t have any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Take care of yourself”Review by Lewis Goodall
Ted Bundy, an inspiration to all budding serial killers out there, looking to commit horrific acts upon women. Everyone needs someone to look up to so if you’re in that boat then Ted Bundy is your man. He’s the modern day Jesus for those looking to turn their life around and avoid the route of being kind and friendly to a more sinister way of living.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Wicked perfectly describes the crimes committed by Ted Bundy, in this case he is wonderfully portrayed by everyones favourite basketball player Zac Efron. The Film focuses on the relationship between Teddy boy and his girlfriend, Liz Kendall (Lily Collins). As their love for eachother grows, so does the pile of women’s bodies who have been violently raped and murdered by a mysterious killer driving around in a Volkswagen Beetle (or ‘Bug’ as thr Americans call it). As Ted is randomly accused of committing these crimes, Liz attempts to keep an open mind for her boyfriend as the evidence continues to pile against him and she must decide what to believe to be the truth.
Ted Bundy was a notoriously charismatic so how could you cast anyone other than Zac Efron. Other than looking like his millenial doppelganger, he also plays the part of a sadistic sociopath incredibly well to get you on his side. The story however focuses more on his girlfriend, Liz, as it follows along the path of her point of view during the years they were together and seeing her boyfriend be wrongly accused of all these crimes. They meet at a bar, liz is with her friend disgusting what it is like being a single parent (Liz is the single mother by the way, not sure if I’ve mentioned that yet). Ted wiggles his way over to her and ends up in her bed that night, perfectly displaying how much game this man had. We then fast forward a few years via montage of old home video styled shots of Ted, Liz and her daughter, being a family. The montage is mixed with real footage of the news at the time, talking about multiple missing women in the Seattle area. The real footage throughout the film is wonderfully mixed in to make it feel that more real and reminds us that this is all based on a true story.
Now that Ted is fully integrated into liz’s family, he takes trips out on his own, one time he gets pulled over by the police for running 2 stop signs. As the police strut over to his car, they notice a bag on his back seat filled with bags and rope. From that moment, Ted is accused of being the mysterious man who has been kidnapping the missing women. He get picked out of a line up by one girl and pointed at by another In court. While all this is going on, Liz is back home trying to keep it together for Ted but is starting to drift away from him as all the evidence stacks up against him. The films angle for this story is seeing the affect all this had on Liz rather than focusing on the crimes themselves and created more of a mystery vibe which is kind of my problem with the film. I’ll say now that everything else about this film is spot on, the acting on everyones part Is incredible, particularly Zac as I mentioned before, but Lily Collins also plays the single mother part wonderfully. This film also includes John Malkovich as a judge to which is was overly joyed when I saw his face pop up that I actually let out a little squeal when I saw him. I had to ask myself whether he was actually himself or if a judge was just puppeteering him to be a judge.
This whole story takes place mainly in the seventies and they fantastically recreated the seventies decor and fashion of the time to accurately mirror the real footage throughout the film. My parents confirmed how accurate it was because I watched it with them and they couldn’t stop talking about items in the scene that they had and saying “do you remember having that?” To each other. So in terms of production and everything else the film is pretty spectacular. In terms of the structure of the film, this is where my problem lies.
So a film about a serial killer, I was expecting to see the horrific crimes recreated but like I mentioned earlier, it opted for more of a mystery approach where you go along with Liz wondering if Ted actually had committed these crimes or not. If you already know the story of Ted Bundy like I did, it kind of spoils the whole mystery of the film as you already know that he was guilty of these crimes. I understand the angle they were going for in terms of going along with liz and having the same doubts as she did but if you know the story, that whole aspect is lost. If you’re going into this film not knowing anything about anything then you’re good to go, this film is perfect for you, I guess if you don’t know about him then you definitely do now because I’ve already mentioned that he is a massive killer, but at this point pretty much everyone knows this. That’s the point I’m trying to make, because a lot of people already know the story of Ted Bundy or atleast know who he is, I just felt like the film focused on all the wrong things. I was expecting an In depth recreation of his story rather than his girlfriends. It’s still a fantastic portrayal of the story, I was just expecting something completely different.
Overall I still felt like this film was incredibly compelling with the characters involved, I just would’ve like so more involvement with the crimes, I wanted to see Zac get his hands dirty, maybe I’m just showing my inner psychopath but a film about a serial killer without any blood? That’s like having a porn film told from the perspective of the director, following him his home life, no cock in vag action in sight, only suggesting that a porn has been film.