It seems that Americans have quite a strange fascination with serial killers. There are countless documentaries on Netflix and Hulu, two-hour specials on television, and blog after blog post discussing the horrible things these people did in their lives. Ted Bundy, notorious for his spree of killings in the 1970s, is among those serial killers that people have remained interested in learning about.
With both the release of Netflix's docu-series "Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" and the new movie "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" starring Zac Efron, the discussion of Bundy has received a surge of life.
Out of the two, Efron's movie has been under constant scrutiny on social media. So many people have complained that the movie is glorifying Ted Bundy and the crimes he committed by picking an attractive man to play Bundy and by showing him as quite the ladies man throughout the trailer.
If you have a problem with the way he's portrayed in the trailer, you probably don't know anything about Ted Bundy or his killings.
That's the whole point of the movie. The sad reality of the story is that Ted Bundy was exactly how he is being portrayed in this new movie. He was handsome, charming, and outspoken. A quick watch of the docu-series will easily illustrate how charismatic this man was.
Being handsome and charming was his whole MO.
He was able to lure in, kidnap, and kill more than 30 women because he came off to everyone as such a normal guy. People couldn't believe he was the man responsible for the killings when he was convicted. Some women even thought they must have the wrong guy.
These killings, done by such a "normal looking" guy BAFFLED the police, who up to this point had characterized the profile of a serial killer as a creepy looking man who probably spent all his time cooped up in a dark basement.
Ted Bundy completely changed the way people viewed killers.
So, it makes perfect sense that the man who was initially considered to be extremely handsome, charming, and kind would be portrayed by a handsome actor like Zac Efron. It makes perfect sense that this movie would seem a little different in tone from other movies about serial killers and kidnappers—because Ted Bundy was different.
It may be uncomfortable to consider, but this movie isn't glorifying Ted Bundy at all; it's simply reminding us of how terrifying he actually was.