Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

Boy, do Efron and Bundy look alike

There’s little wonder why Zac Efron would be a perfect young actor to portray serial murderer Ted Bundy. He has his eyebrows, hairstyle, height, and charms, with all respect. Even Bundy’s lawyer agrees with fans on his resemblance. In “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” he plays him with such charisma and tone, you actually almost like his character. Again, with all respect.

Netflix, which distributes this movie, asked people not to call Ted Bundy hot for obvious reasons. I’m not calling anyone hot; I’m saying Efron has broken free from the “High School Musical” genre, and transformed into a fine talent.

Lily Collins co-stars as his girlfriend Liz Kendall, a single mother, who has trouble believing her hunk would rape and slaughter a bunch of girls in different states. However, she alerts the authorities on him being the police sketch resembles him, but she feels guilty about doing so. This story, set in the 1970s, deals with his countless court cases, the state of their relationship, and how he’s used for political affairs and media sensations.

No matter what Bundy says about being innocent and refusing to plea guilty for a life sentence over the death penalty, nobody believes him. And we all know, he’s been erased from this world or any world in the cosmos.

The movie’s cast also includes John Malkovich as Judge Edward Cowart, who’s clearly unconvinced Bundy is the good guy; Jim Parsons as the opposing lawyer; Haley Joel Osment as Liz’s co-worker-turned-lover; and last but not least is Kaya Scodelario as Carole Ann Booth, Bundy’s old flame who transforms into the mother of his daughter.

I wish the movie could have gone deeper into the rapes and murders, which are presented as bland and uninteresting, but then again, it probably would have been too gruesome to be shown, even on Netflix. However, thanks to director Joe Berlinger. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” brings out the best of Efron, Collins, and Scodelario, who are given dialogue and emotions. I loved each of them. Wow, that probably wouldn’t look very good out of context.

I remember my grandfather telling me how impressed he was that I thought Lavrentiy Beria was smart and funny in “The Death of Stalin.” I made it clear to him that it was the actor Simon Russell Beale who was smart and funny, not the real life character.

Again, I don’t think Ted Bundy is hot in any way at all; I think Efron plays him and holds our attention very well. And to be honest, I think Phil Collins has raised Lily to be an exceptional young woman. I’m glad to have met these two excellent talents.


Categories: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

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