Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile


MFC Review



Zac Efron plays Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019), the new Netflix film.


Directed by Joe Berlinger, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile tells the story of serial killer Ted Bundy, guilty of more than 30 kidnappings, rapes and murders in the United States during 1974 and 1978. The script is an adaptation of the book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, written by Elizabeth Kendall, Bundy’s ex-girlfriend.


The cast consists of Zac Efron in the role of Ted Bundy, Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kendall, his girlfriend, and John Malkovich as Edward Cowart, judge of Bundy’s last trial.


With his previous direction of the documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019), also for Netflix, Joe Berlinger proved to have a great grip on Bundy‘s story. In Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, Berlinger delves deeper into Bundy‘s relationship with Elizabeth Kendall and the killer’s skills to win people’s trust.


The film tackles the story of Ted Bundy from a perspective never explored before. While other pieces do not skimp on showing Bundy as an atrocious character by exposing his crimes, in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile we enter the story from the point of view of Elizabeth Kendall, his ex-girlfriend, victim of the charisma and the emotional tricks that made Bundy the dangerous person he was.


The performance of Zac Efron is especially outstanding, managing to capture the essence and peculiarities of Ted Bundy‘s personality with surprising accuracy.


Although some critics affirm that the film did not deepen in the malice of Bundy’s actions, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile deviates from that narrative line to dive into the effects that its personality had in the public of the time. This new perspective allows us to feel the same way many people may have felt during the Bundy trials, duped by his absorbing personality, and makes us doubt his guilt.


In short, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile ended up being a film of great narrative richness, ideal if accompanied by the documentary of the same director for a broader understanding of the story of one of the most notorious criminals in the United States.