By Arlett Ramirez
Web Content Contributor
Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in history. He is known for murdering over 30 women (the exact number isn’t known) in six states in the 1970s and maybe even earlier. He would use his charm to lure young women and then overpower them in secluded areas. Many never suspected Bundy because he didn’t “look” like a serial killer. He was a white male who tried to study law and was considered attractive. Now we know that appearances can be very deceiving.
On January 24, 1989, American serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair. Thirty years later to the date, Netflix released the documentary called “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” directed by Joe Berlinger, consisting of four 60-minute episodes sourced from interviews with Bundy and from his family, friends, law enforcement and surviving victims.
A few days later, Netflix announced that another Bundy project would be released onto the streaming service, also directed by Berlinger. The biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” will star Zac Efron as Bundy, Lily Collins as Bundy’s girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer, and John Malkovich as Judge Edward Cowart. The film will be shown from the perspective of Elizabeth Kloepfer. It will premiere on Netflix on May 3.
When “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” was announced back in January, it immediately received mixed reactions for Efron’s casting. Some considered Efron a perfect match for Bundy since he is an attractive white male and people could believe him to be a serial killer underneath his “perfect” exterior– the same way people couldn’t believe Bundy committed gruesome crimes. Others were worried that Efron’s portrayal would romanticize Bundy. They said Efron’s physical appearance would sexualize Bundy instead of bringing attention that he raped, murdered, decapitated and performed necrophilia to his victims.
Lily Collins will play Liz Kloepfer, Bundy’s girlfriend, whom he lived with for a couple of years. She also had a young daughter from a previous relationship that Bundy was around. Kloepfer never suspected Bundy of being a serial killer until she realized that Bundy fit the description of the serial killer. It’s terrifying to imagine living with a serial killer who killed young women. It makes you wonder what made Kloepfer different from his victims that he didn’t kill her.
Efron’s performance and the film have both received praise. I’m excited to see the film since there hasn’t been a Bundy movie yet and the actors seem to capture the essence of their characters. Malkovich seems to be the perfect person to play the judge presiding over the trial. Quick factoid: the movie title is a quote from the judge during the trial.
Featured screenshot by Arlett Ramirez.