Zac Efron as Ted Bundy: Toxic or Necessary??

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile has been one of the most talked about films so far in 2019.  

The film recounts the life of Ted Bundy, a notorious rapist and serial killer who murdered about thirty women but is believed to have killed even more.  Bundy was executed on the electric chair on January 24, 1989. Zac Efron, who rose to fame from Disney’s High School Musical, has brought Bundy back to life.

Since the first trailer was released on Jan. 25, the film has faced backlash from all corners of the internet.  Zac Efron’s portrayal of Bundy has been called “charming” and “hot.” As such, the film and its director, Joe Berlinger, have been accused of romanticizing the serial killer.

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To everyone stating that the film is toxic needs to realize the importance of Efron’s portrayal.  Ted Bundy was not what most people imagined a serial killer to look like. He was not creepy, average-looking, and an outcast.  Ted Bundy oozed charm. Oftentimes, the combination of charm and good looks caused a sense of comfort amongst his victims.

Image result for extremely wicked shockingly evil and vileWhile there may be lingering arguments about the glorification and sexualization of serial killers, there is a good argument to be made about Ted Bundy.  He was no John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Guy Georges. Bundy was a well-liked man with connections in the world of politics. He had pursued his law degree, and even though his life seemed picture perfect, the unsettling moments of his life were well-disguised.  Unlike Gacy, Dahmer, and Georges, he had no visible messed up familial relationships growing up.

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Therefore, Efron’s portrayal is both essential to the plot and story of who Bundy was.

 Without it, his girlfriend at the time would have had an easier time believing that the man she loved was capable of raping and murdering multiple women.  It is not romanticizing. It is an accurate portrayal of the mask Ted Bundy wore in public.