Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
"By avoiding serial cliches, director Joe Berlinger touches on a different level of revelation." | Photo: Brian Douglas

The fascination with serial killers goes on.

Why do they do it? Why does anyone do anything? You can follow this train of thought all the way to the station. Then what?

Then nothing.

At the end of this movie they list the names of Ted Bundy’s victims. There are so many you can hardly believe it, or why it took the authorities so long to catch him. He denied everything, as you would expect, but the difference between Bundy and the others is that he trained as a lawyer.

The film is in the first person, about him, by him. Since he admits to nothing, even to himself, you begin to doubt whether his guilt is not a figment. Zac Efron does a superb job in the role. Will his girlfriend (Lily Collins) marry him behind bars? Her loyalty will be crushed but not for ages. Can love save the night? What is real? Are the bite marks on the buttocks of dead girls his? Will he stand forever amongst the innocent?

Thankfully we are spared details of the killings. This is not a how/why expose of something senseless. The audience become listeners at the gate, watchers on the wall, a jury without prejudice. The role of judge is reserved for John Malkovich who cannot be faulted and utters the words of the title to describe Bundy’s phenomena.

By avoiding serial clichés, director Joe Berlinger touches on a different level of revelation. Bundy is seen as treacherous and controlling while being hands-on as a natural man whose use of charm is as candid as an easy smile. The psychological damage belongs to someone else. Bundy will sort things out. He’s good at that. The law is an ass, don’t you know? Deception is a question of confidence and simplicity. Even murderers can do the math.

Reviewed on: 08 May 2019
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A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of Liz, his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.


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