Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a 2019 American biographical crime thriller film about the life of serial killer Ted Bundy. Directed by Joe Berlinger with a screenplay from Michael Werwie, the film is based on Bundy’s former girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy. The film stars Zac Efron as Bundy, Lily Collins as Kendall, Kaya Scodelario as Bundy’s wife Carole Ann Boone, and John Malkovich as Edward Cowart, the presiding judge at Bundy’s trial. Oh and James Hetfield has a small role in it too! The title of the film is a reference to Cowart’s remarks on Bundy’s murders while sentencing him to death.
The movie shows us a charming, intelligent young man who seemingly sweeps a young woman off her feet and maker her fall in love with him. In 1969 Seattle, law student Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) meets Liz Kendall (Lily Collins), a secretary and single mother. The two begin dating and Ted helps Liz raise her young daughter, Molly. However by 1974, after multiple women are killed, he is picked up by a cop as his description and that of his car matches that given by several people who see a man asking women to help him load a sailboat onto a Volkswagen Beetle. A young woman named Carol DaRonch picks Ted out of a police lineup, claiming he had kidnapped and threatened to kill her before she managed to escape.
Ted is released on bail, returning home to Liz who is upset after reading an article about him in the newspaper. Ted explains that Carol was shown his picture before the lineup took place, which is why he looked familiar to her, and believes he is being set up. After a four-day bench trial, Ted is found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and is sentenced to serve a minimum of one to a maximum of 15 years in the Utah State Prison. But he is charged with the murder of Caryn Campbell by Colorado authorities and he is transferred to Aspen, Colorado in 1977. Liz believes he is innocent and turns to alcohol in distress. Ted elects to serve as his own attorney and, as such, is excused from wearing handcuffs or leg shackles. During a recess, Ted escapes from the courthouse by jumping out of a second story window and running to the mountains, but is recaptured after six days.
Liz visits Ted and ends their relationship. He later escapes again after sawing a square in his cell’s ceiling. Two women at a sorority house are murdered at Florida State University, followed by vicious attacks on two more. After Ted is arrested, he tries to contact Liz but she hangs up on him. He starts to receive a following of women who are fascinated by him, some even claiming they love him. Ted is visited by an old friend, Carole Ann Boone (Kaya Scodelario), who believes he is innocent and moves to Florida to be closer to him. He is offered a deal in which he admits to the killings of the two girls and can avoid the death penalty for a 75 year jail term but he refuses. Ted and Carole Ann grow closer as she visits him regularly; the two begin a relationship but Ted continues to reach out to Liz, who is following his trials via television. She carries the guilt of being the person who gave Ted’s name to the Seattle authorities in 1975. Ted later proposes to Carole Ann and they marry.
Incriminating physical evidence is provided in court, including a match of a plaster cast of Ted’s teeth to the impressions of bite wounds on Levy’s buttocks. In under seven hours, the jury convicts Ted of the murders of Levy and Bowman, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of burglary. Trial judge Edward Cowart imposes death sentences for the murder convictions to be carried out with an execution by electrocution. 10 years pass and Liz visits him in prison taking a photograph given to her by a detective. She demands the truth but Ted continues to deny having anything to do with the murders. She then shows Ted the photograph — a crime scene image of one of his decapitated victims. Ted finally admits that he sawed her head off by writing the word “hacksaw” on the dew-misted window of the visiting room with his fingers, before erasing it with his hand.
Liz leaves the prison in shock but is met outside by her new husband and teenage daughter, and she proclaims that she is okay. The movie ends with archived footage of the real Ted Bundy and his trial and some interviews. Ted was executed in January 1989, aged 42 years old. Ted had confessed to over 30 murders days before his execution and his ashes were scattered in the Cascade Mountains where he had deposited the remains of numerous victims.
Why do so many American women fall for serial killers and other such wonderful characters on deathrow? I should say it’s mostly white American women! One stupid bitch calls him dreamy while he was on trial and they show up in support! Anyways, it was entertaining and interesting enough but is kinda pale and tame. Efron does a good enough job. I give the movie a 7 outta 10!