Ted Bundy sure is having a moment. He’s the subject of a brand new documentary true crime series on Netflix, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and he’s also the protagonist of a new fiction film called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, where he is played by the extremely handsome, extremely chiseled Zac Efron. (Bundy was famously a good-looking dude who struck a very unusual figure for a serial killer, so I guess Troy Bolton is as good a guy as any to play him.)
Here is the film’s official synopsis:
1969. Ted (Zac Efron) is crazy-handsome, smart, charismatic, affectionate. And cautious single mother Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins) ultimately cannot resist his charms. For her, Ted is a match made in heaven, and she soon falls head over heels in love with the dashing young man. A picture of domestic bliss, the happy couple seems to have it all figured out … until, out of nowhere, their perfect life is shattered. Ted is arrested and charged with a series of increasingly grisly murders. Concern soon turns to paranoia—and, as evidence piles up, Liz is forced to consider that the man with whom she shares her life could actually be a psychopath. This is the story of Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. Collins shines as Liz, while Zac Efron gives a performance that could redefine his career. Renowned filmmaker Joe Berlinger, best known for his true-crime documentaries, proves to be the perfect match to bring this Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile true story to the screen.
In a very unusual twist, both Confessions of a Killer and Extremely Wicked… are both directed by the same guy: Joe Berlinger, who made the excellent trilogy of films about the West Memphis 3, Paradise Lost. It’s pretty rare for one filmmaker to direct fiction and non-fiction films about the same subject, but here we are! I guess Berlinger had a lot to say about Ted Bundy.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile debuts at the Sundance Film Festival later this week.