May 29th, 2020 | Updated on August 1st, 2020
After years of silence, Ted Bundy’s long-term girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall, her daughter Molly, and other survivors come forward for the first time in a docuseries that reframes Bundy’s crimes from a female perspective.
The series reveals how Bundy’s pathological hatred of women collided with the culture wars and the feminist movement of the 1970s in one of the most infamous crime stories of our time.
Docu-drama based on the life of Ted Bundy, a serial killer who killed at least 19 young women during the 1970s.
Set from his college student years to his first victims, his capture, escape from prison, his final killing spree to his trial, conviction, and execution.
Movie Reviews: “Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer”
Review: Rolling Stone
Director Joe Berlinger, a superb documentarian (the excellent Paradise Lost trilogy), could have gone several ways with this material. The method he chose, along with screenwriter Michael Werwie, was to see Bundy through the eyes of Elizabeth Kloepfer, referred to here as one of her pseudonyms, Elizabeth Kendall (Lily Collins), the single mother he met in 1969 and loved with ardor and tenderness while moonlighting as a savage psychopath.
In other words, we’re seeing Bundy as Elizabeth saw him, at least for a time, and as he preferred to see himself. That was the image Bundy presented at trial, wearing a suit with a jaunty bow tie, bantering with the judge, who called him pardner,” and flashing a smile meant to warm hearts. It’s bone-chilling.
Netflix is streaming both the documentary series and the feature film, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. That’s a lot of time to spend on any subject, let alone someone whose story is as well-known and gruesome as Bundy’s.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile draws its title from the judge’s pronouncement when sentencing Bundy in 1979 for the murders of several young women — though it’s worth noting the same judge also said, in the same pronouncement, that Bundy was a promising young man who would have been a great lawyer.
Review: The Guardian
The main one is that “conversations” aren’t accurate. The tapes are, in effect, a Bundy monologue, describing first his idyllic childhood (it wasn’t), high school years (“I was one of the boys,” he says, “not a social outcast in any way”) and on through his college days and girlfriends – a stream of revisionist, self-aggrandizing words anatomizing everything about him.
Except, quite notably, any of the murders, assaults, or kidnappings he had been convicted for or the many more of which he was suspected. Until, that is, Michaud suggested he hypothesize about what happened (a gambit that OJ Simpson ran with a few decades later in his book If I Did It, about the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman).