Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a ... See full summary »
Marvin J. Chomsky
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Docu-drama based on the life of Ted Bundy, a serial killer who killed at least 19 young women during the 1970's (though some sources say as many as 30 to 35 were murdered). Set from his college student years, to his first victims, his capture, escape from prison (twice), his final killing spree to his trial, conviction and execution. Written by
I rented this because I expected it to be intense, having seen Matthew Bright's work in "Freeway". It's definitely that. It's hard not to compare it to "The Deliberate Stranger": each focuses on a different aspect of Bundy's story. "Stranger" focused more on the investigation and the actual facts, and Mark Harmon's performance captured the smoothness and charm which enabled Bundy to gain his victims' trust. This movie is all about the animal beneath. In reality, Bundy's ability to keep that beast hidden was part of what enabled him to carry on as long as he did. This film lays bare that monster, and shows it in all its ugliness. I'm seeing a lot of criticism of this movie for being good at what it set out to do: to make you share in the revulsion of what Ted Bundy was. Complaining that it's in bad taste? What does 'taste' have to do with a sadistic animal who snuffed out dozens of young womens' lives, just to fulfill his need to feel powerful? In this respect, this movie is superior to "Stranger": that one is much too tame and sanitized. What kind of hypocrite watches a movie about a serial killer, and complains that it's too lurid? While "Stranger" is more successful as a factual and interesting telling of Bundy's story, this is a much more impactful movie that makes you feel as though you're actually in the room with that demon. Only 15 minutes into the movie, I felt filthy just from watching his odious behavior. Bright's purpose here was not so much to make a biography as it was to use Bundy's story to point out something fundamental about human nature: the desire for control, and how it drives us to harm each other. While not as good as Bright's earlier "Freeway", it's still a good, disturbing movie, much in the brutal vein of "Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer". It's actually much more violent - especially sexually - than the latter, though not as gruesome.
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