The people around Bundy

New Netflix movie shows how those around Bundy were affected by his actions

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Elizabeth Hahn, Staff Writer

Netflix recently released a movie that documents the life of one of the most infamous serial killers in the United States. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile gives all the details of the mind of Ted Bundy and how his actions affected those around him.

Many people know the story of Ted Bundy and the horrible, sickening things he did, however many don’t know how the people close to Bundy felt about the whole situation and how it affected them. This movie gives that background.

Bundy had a girlfriend named Liz Kloepfer, who met him at a bar. They fell in love, and Bundy grew to be a member of their family, acting as sort of a father to Liz’s daughter, Molly. In the beginning, Bundy seemed like a pretty normal guy. As the movie goes on, he is suspected of more and more crimes, and Liz can’t seem to bring herself to believe that it was him.

Going into this movie, I thought it was going to be about Bundy and all of his crimes. However, it was much different than what I expected it to be, as this movie was primarily about how Liz dealt with Bundy’s crimes and what he did to try prove his “innocence.” I thought it was upsetting to watch Bundy continuously lie to Liz and try to make her believe he was innocent. She actually did believe him for awhile, and she had hope that he didn’t commit the crimes he was accused of. Throughout his life, Bundy committed kidnappings and awful murders. It was honestly painful to see her slowly lose hope and realize that he did these gruesome, inhumane things.

Another interesting part of the movie that stayed true to real life was Bundy’s desire to prove his innocence. Even though the evidence was stacked against him and the fact that he actually did commit the crimes, he wanted people to believe that he was innocent. It went so far that it seemed that he started to believe he was innocent, too. It was honestly very chilling to see a serial killer so desperate to prove he’s guilty. It would have been terrifying to be alive during the time he was alive. Bundy escaped numerous times, only to commit a crime and end right back in jail. It was hard for jails to keep him, as he was a very intelligent man and knew what he was doing when it came to planning an escape.

I also really liked there were certain parts of this movie that were exactly the same as what happened in real life and what was documented through cameras and other forms of media. An example of this was the infamous line Bundy once said, “I’ll plead not guilty right now.” This line and all of the footage with it was executed well in the movie. I think it’s really captivating when movies replicate the things that actually happen. It’s especially satisfying when the recreation is accurate. Through seeing the interviews and footage that showed at the end of the movie, it’s clear that many of the scenes went along with what happened exactly.

This movie didn’t really follow a specific timeline. It started out with Bundy being thrown in jail, but the next scene was a flashback to when he met Liz. All of the time jumps back and forth made this movie a little hard to follow, but I believe it also made it more interesting. It gave insight to things that happened in the time before and after Bundy went to jail. This aspect also gave insight to how Liz grew as a person, from believing he could never commit those crimes to completely separating herself from him after coming to the realization that all the evidence pointed to him being the murderer.

The only thing that could’ve made the movie better would’ve been insight into how Bundy’s mind worked and how he went about trying to get away with these heinous crimes. It would’ve been interesting to see what happened before and after the horrible things he did. Although it didn’t show this in the movie, Netflix did release Bundy’s tapes that give background into him and his mind. I still think it would’ve been interesting to see this aspect of Bundy in the movie, though.

Overall, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile was a good depiction of the actions of a serial killer and what his or her actions do to those around them. Zac Efron did an excellent job of showing the charming and evil sides of Bundy. He gave a great performance in this role. Some people were upset when they found out he was casted for this role, being that he’s a heartthrob among teens and young adults. People didn’t want someone like him playing the role of a terrible serial killer. However, Bundy was actually quite popular with the ladies, even though he was a serial killer. His charm was what made him popular. Efron did a phenomenal job showing that charm and how Bundy used it. Lily Collins brought a heart-breaking performance and made Liz come to life in a wonderful way. This movie was very interesting. Anyone who has an interest in the true crime genre and the stories of serial killers should watch this movie. It will leave anyone on the edge of their seat wondering what lengths Bundy will take to get away with murder.