TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Serial killer Ted Bundy was executed 30 years ago last month, but his story continues to fascinate. He is the subject of at least three new documentaries and a new major motion picture starring Zac Efron that is due in theaters in May.
Thousands flocked to Park City, Utah, for this year's Sundance Film Festival, and hundreds showed up for a 8:30 a.m. Sunday premier of "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile."
Of more than 120 movies screened, the Hollywood Reporter named the new Ted Bundy movie one of the top 10 movies to see.
The title comes from Judge Edward Coward's sentence of Bundy to death in July 1979.
The movie is surprisingly free of violence. One scene from the movie that has been released shows Efron lifting a crowbar, but never hitting the woman.
Despite that restraint, director Joe Berlinger has taken some heat for glorifying Bundy.
“This movie is not a catalog of his killings,” Berlinger said. "In fact, there is very little violence in the movie. It’s about deception and betrayal, and I think people need to understand how one becomes a victim to a serial killer who is using charm to lure you to his crimes.”
Some liberties were taken in the film, like in the scene where the infamous picture of Bundy when his murder indictment was read was taken. The movie shows a media circus watching the whole process, but, in reality, there were just a few people in the room.
The movie is told from the perspective of Liz Kloepfer, Bundy’s girlfriend of six years.
“You know, as a father of daughters, I want to send out that message to people that, you know, before you deeply trust somebody, they better earn your trust,” Berlinger said.
The movie has a surprise ending in which Bundy makes a dramatic confession to his one-time girlfriend. Revealing any more than that would be a spoiler.