Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, tells of Ted Bundy’s crimes from the perspective of his girlfriend, Liz (Lisa Collins) as she struggles to come to terms with and believe what he’s done.
I was cautious about this movie, as interested as I am in true crime stories, I worry that films like this, which verge on glorifying a man who was nothing short of evil, could “inspire” someone already twisted to try get the notoriety that figures like Ted Bundy have. Afterall, the Zodiac really got off on taunting the press and the media attention, so these kinds of people want to be known – just not caught.
This film also took a risk with the direction and point of view it chose to take, rather than the obvious choice of chronicling Bundy’s crimes, they decided to do something else and show the person Liz saw him to be. It assumed you knew all about Bundy, as the director of this also directed Netflix’s Ted Bundy Tapes – because if you didn’t just watch that documentary or another you would have been lost, as it takes place after most of his crimes had been committed.
I don’t think the risk paid off.
Ted Bundy is one of the most infamous serial killers because he was charismatic and attractive, he just didn’t fit the profile people typically assumed killers were. Zac Efron was the perfect choice for portraying that side of him, but as my parents pointed out – if you didn’t know who he was, the film would have made you feel sorry for him, and up until the very end had you never heard of Bundy you might have thought he was framed.
The movie wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t near as good as it could have been and fell much below my expectations, which is a shame because Zac Efron and Lily Colins were great – they were just let down by a poor plot. I was actually kind of bored during it. For a film with such an intense title, it was the opposite. I’m also just not a fan of the title in the first place.
If you want to watch something about serial killers, Bundy, or true crime I wouldn’t be suggesting this as a must watch – I’d watch Buzzfeed Unsolved before this again.
So because the movie didn’t touch upon it enough, here’s a list of Bundy’s known victims – all young women who were taken before their time: Joni Lenz (18), Lynda Ann Healy (21), Donna Gail Manson (19), Susan Rancourt, (18), Roberta Parks (20), Brenda Carol Ball (22), Georgeann Hawkins (18), Denise Naslund (18), Janice Ott (23), Nancy Wilcox (16), Melissa Smith (17), Laura Aime (17), Debra Kent (17), Caryn Campbell (23), Julie Cunningham (26), Denise Oliverson (24), Melanie Cooley (18), Lynette Culver (12), Susan Curtis (15), Margaret Bowman (21), Lisa Levy (20), Kimberly Leach (12).
Four women survived his attacks: Carol DaRonch, Kathy Kleiner, Karen Chandler, and Cheryl Thomas.