We are kind of in a golden age of true crime content. From Serial to Making a Murderer to Dirty John to thousands of true crime podcasts and series and documentaries, people cannot seem to consume enough horrifying real-life stories. Why? Why now? That is a very good question and one that we are not necessarily going to get into right now.
But you know that it is true. I am one of those true crime fanatics. I always have been. When I was in high school, my friends bought me a book that was an A to Z guide all about serial killers. And right there under B was Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers of all. Ted Bundy was known as a charming, charismatic, and attractive man, and so many were shocked when he was revealed to have raped and murdered at least 30 women (but very likely, there were more) throughout several states during the 1970s. The fascination with how such a seemingly "normal" man could become a cold-blooded killer has led to a new documentary series about Bundy as well as a fictionalized movie starring Zac Efron as one of the world's most notorious serial killers.
It's been just over 30 years since Ted Bundy was executed for his crimes.
On this date January 24 in 1989, Ted Bundy was executed by the electric chair at the Florida State Prison. Photo b… https://t.co/9JsR6CxpvZ— Dr. Jeffrey Guterman (@Dr. Jeffrey Guterman)1548327601.0
One of the most prolific killers in history, Ted Bundy was known for his charm and good looks.He wasn't suspected for so long because he was such a "normal" looking dude. But clearly, looks can be deceiving.
There's a new Netflix series, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, that explores his case and the depraved nature of his murders in depth.And now, a fictionalized movie about Ted Bundy has premiered at Sundance. The movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile stars Zac Efron.
Yes, that Zac Efron. You can kind of see the resemblance, can't you?The actor is definitely making moves to shed his Disney Channel star/teen heartthrob persona.
Playing Ted Bundy was definitely a conscious choice for Efron.
Zac Efron as Ted Bundy. Really unsure how this is going to turn out... https://t.co/hhlhMMUCXy— Arran James Grant (@Arran James Grant)1548199582.0
You can watch it here:
Zac Efron is Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. 😉 https://t.co/E7NakK0cNK— Fandango (@Fandango)1548439855.0
The movie, at least from this trailer, seems to worship this guy, who was — in case you need to be reminded — one of the most awful serial killers in history.
I feel so bad for the families of the victims that have to sit there and see their terrors revived as a witty roman… https://t.co/78ECkuC3Tk— anime yitties (@anime yitties)1548463489.0
Bundy confessed to 30 homicides. 30!
ted bundy: *rapes/murders an estimated 100 sex workers and child* Y’all: “BUT WE NEED TO SEE HIS CHARISMATIC SIDE OMG PLUS HE WAS SO HOT”— anime yitties (@anime yitties)1548604864.0
The trailer hit a nerve for so many.And I include myself in that camp. It didn't sit well with me. While I haven't seen the whole movie, the trailer really seems to minimize the extreme damage he caused and instead highlight his smooth-operator persona.
To put it bluntly:
ted bundy: I raped and murdered 80-90 women trailer for ted bundy movie: 🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎🚬🚬🚬🚬🚬🚬— Melissa Lozada-Oliva (@Melissa Lozada-Oliva)1548535679.0
Maybe this trailer is so problematic because of the time we're living in.White men are finally starting to be held accountable for their actions. Mistreating women is no longer going to be swept under the rug or blatantly allowed.
Celebrating and lifting up this white man, who was one of the evilest of all white men, is at least a tacit dismissal of the current social climate.
So I don’t have a problem with the Zac Efron attractiveness as Ted Bundy, since he was known for his looks & charm.… https://t.co/q3SBkHuTMa— chereen (@chereen)1548536861.0
There is a whole section of Twitter that is obsessed with how "hot" Ted Bundy was.
with the ted bundy netflix series + with the zac efron bundy movie dropping later this year this is ur friendly rem… https://t.co/Tb0bRnrGwm— Human Disaster™ (@Human Disaster™)1548434884.0
That is exactly the problem.
i’m not saying you’re not allowed to like true crime. i fucking love true crime. i’m saying that there is a commun… https://t.co/2MWCTTMLr6— Human Disaster™ (@Human Disaster™)1548519438.0
The internet wasn't totally unified in the view that the trailer is problematic, however.It is true that part of what makes Ted Bundy's case so fascinating to people is the fact that he was so charming and good-looking.
Many pointed out that the movie is just depicting Bundy like the media did at the time of his trial.
Psst, hey woke twitter, in real life Ted Bundy was romanticized by the media and everyone he knew. That's what the… https://t.co/W3rCgIrgGv— Scott of Rivia (@Scott of Rivia)1548554532.0
No one suspected Ted Bundy would commit those heinous crimes because he was charming and because he's good looking.
That Zac Efron - Ted Bundy trailer is getting unfair criticism. Do people not understand that in real life Ted Bun… https://t.co/TK7UCLZbru— Skyler Shuler (@Skyler Shuler)1548524849.0
But that's just my opinion!
Y’all blowing tf out me with the Ted Bundy shit bruh.... the movie not romanticizing him, he was ROMANTICIZED in re… https://t.co/NhUcskGitZ— it cant be me. (@it cant be me.)1548525102.0
He was able to get away with as much as he was because of those good looks. There's no doubt about that.
People who are mad over Zac Efron portraying Ted Bundy in the movie because he’s ‘too attractive’ really have VERY… https://t.co/AEujLw75qe— Georgia 💀 (@Georgia 💀)1548629590.0
This is an important point to make:The trailer isn't super clear about this, and it also seems to only focus on the supposed "good" stuff about Ted Bundy. Maybe the actual movie is different.
The "casual comic tone" is what people have a problem with.The trailer makes it seem like the movie makes light of the atrocities that Bundy committed, diminishing his evil and painting him as merely a slick media star instead of a slick media star who was also unimaginably evil.
Additionally, the Netflix series and this movie seem to be giving Bundy exactly what he wanted.
@RottenTomatoes That's exactly what Ted Bundy wanted. posthumous fame for his cruelties. You can count on Hollywood… https://t.co/N8F5UQV3HE— Shiroshika (@Shiroshika)1548448938.0
Maybe the movie is not actually like the way it comes across in the trailer.
the ted bundy doc already bringing the serial killer stans as if this won’t get worse once his movie starring zac e… https://t.co/76WMC8kmu1— ৎ୭ (@ৎ୭)1548384057.0
For what it's worth, it seems that Efron knew that there was a fine line he had to walk in his portrayal of Ted Bundy.But Efron is only one piece of the movie. Even if he did his best, as evidenced by the trailer, the score, the direction, the editing, all of these elements work together to give the movie its point of view.
This tweet is funny, but also sickening:
Ted Bundy has a show on Netflix and a movie coming out. Proving the answer to “who do I have to kill to get on TV?” to be “dozens of women”— Kemah “Hoe Biden” Bob ✨ (@Kemah “Hoe Biden” Bob ✨)1548680184.0
Like, this. All of this:
While watching the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix, I felt disgusted as I listened to the narrative that Bundy was some… https://t.co/t2ifCYN9dd— Ashley Alese Edwards (@Ashley Alese Edwards)1548698672.0
It's important to remember that Ted Bundy wasn't just a charming man.
With the new movie with Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy, I truly hope people don’t start to glorify him. He was a man w… https://t.co/bJctuWxceJ— Poké-Mom DOOM (@Poké-Mom DOOM)1548481988.0
It's not wrong to be interested in the psychology of people like Ted Bundy.
I too am very interested in the psychology of people like Ted. So much that I’ve decided to dedicate my education a… https://t.co/rAW8Al9kcG— Poké-Mom DOOM (@Poké-Mom DOOM)1548482140.0
This Twitter user goes on to say that she doesn't think the movie glorifies Bundy.
However, I think Zac playing Ted is perfect. The movie isn’t glorifying him, it’s showing why he was a successful s… https://t.co/KtOEjFxlow— Poké-Mom DOOM (@Poké-Mom DOOM)1548482695.0