The world will probably never put aside its obsession with serial killers, so it makes sense that one of America’s most notorious is the subject of a buzzy new movie. If you thought that Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile would be your classic creepy serial killer story, think again.
Told through the eyes of Bundy’s one-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), Extremely Wicked is not a horror movie, nor does it focus on the nitty gritty of all of Bundy’s horrific crimes. ( The murderer and rapist admitted to killing 36 women in the ‘70s, but some believe that he could have killed more than 100 people, according to Biography.)
The film’s teaser shows Kloepfer slowly coming to terms with the fact that her "dream boyfriend" is anything but a dream. It also examines the strange, surreal fanfare around Bundy, even after he was arrested for heinous crimes.
“I’m more popular than Disney World,” says Efron’s Bundy in the teaser.
He may be exaggerating, but not by much. Efron leans into Bundy’s famous charisma, so much so that when we hear women on the news complaining that the media has convicted him without his “day in court,” we almost understand how they could imagine that he’s innocent. It’s part of what makes Bundy such an ultimately terrifying character: He doesn’t seem as wicked as we know he is.
Extremely Wicked premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this week, but if you’re not able to make it to Park City, you can still learn about this particularly wicked, evil, and vile man before the film hits theaters. The film’s director Joe Berlinger also helmed Netflix documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which is streaming now.
Check out the teaser for Extremely Wicked below.