- Voltage Pictures
- Zac Efron portrays serial killer Ted Bundy in the new film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.”
- Some people have accused the film of romanticizing the killer.
- But one woman who was attacked by Bundy in 1978 and survived thinks this is appropriate.
- While the film glorifies him a bit, she said it makes sense as long as people understand that what they’re watching “wasn’t a normal person.”
- They may see a handsome, charming man, because “that’s what Bundy wanted you to see,” she said.
Zac Efron’s new film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” in which he portrays the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, premiered at Sundance last weekend.
Bundy confessed to raping and murdering 30 women and girls, although the real figure was likely many more. He managed to escape from jail twice, but was executed in January 1989.
The way Bundy is remembered continues to be complicated. The film – and Efron’s portrayal of the killer – has been criticized for romanticizing Bundy.
The Playlist’s Rodrigo Perez wrote that the film “can’t resist making Bundy look like a little bit of a rock star at times even though the movie purports to condemn him.”
But according to one woman who was attacked by Bundy and survived, it makes sense that a Hollywood heartthrob should play the killer, because Bundy himself was attractive. Some people believe this is how he got away with his murders for as long as he did, because people were hesitant to suspect him.
TMZ spoke to Kathy Kleiner Rubin, who Bundy attacked at Florida State University’s Chi Omega house in 1978.
“I don’t have a problem with people looking at it, as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person,” she said. “I believe that in order to show him exactly the way it was, it’s not really glorifying him, but it’s showing him, and when they do say positive and wonderful things about him, that’s what they saw – that’s what Bundy wanted you to see.”
She added that the movie may glorify Bundy a little more than it should, but the overall message is important – while Bundy was a charming person on the surface, he was capable of awful things.
“Hopefully it will make women … more aware of their surroundings and be cautious,” Rubin said. “He had different tactics that he used to [get] people to help him get in cars or do things, and in your gut if you just feel that something doesn’t feel right, just say no.”
Rubin’s response to the film comes days after Netflix released a docuseries on the killer from the same director as “Extremely Wicked,” titled “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.”
On Monday, the streaming service tweeted that it had been seeing “a lot of talk about Ted Bundy’s alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service – almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers.”