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Anything I have to say about this abomination has to be judged in the context of my not having been able to sit through more than 28 minutes of it.
Here's the opening scene -- just in case a viewer might be uncertain about switching the channel. Bundy has one of his helpless victims screaming and tied up out in the boondocks at night. He wraps a cable about her neck while she whines and sobs. Bundy tells her what he's going to do to her -- kill her, then cut her head off and burn it in the camp fire until the eyeballs pop out. He orders her to look up at the stars while he strangles her almost into unconsciousness, then allows her to breathe again. Then he flings her aside, still muttering nonsense, and lifts up a spade and bashes her head in. Fade to Ted Bundy in his jail cell telling his own story, beginning when he was a deprived little boy. That's just the first few minutes.
I don't know where to begin. (The writers of this execrable offal would probably advise me: "Begin at the beginning." That's about the extent of their imagination.) Nemec has the character all wrong. It isn't as if this were a story about Jack the Ripper, a character on whom any pattern of traits could be imposed. The problem is that people now alive REMEMBER Ted Bundy. And Ted Bundy was not a soulful imitation of James Dean. Bundy was a handsome glib psychopath, a con man with a murderous streak. He would quote Shakespeare to a girl in a college hallway only if he'd memorized the passage five minutes before because he thought it might be useful in seducing her or might otherwise play to his advantage. Nemec plays him as a romantic, which is exactly bass ackwards.
But then so many things are just plain wrong. The viewer will be surprised to learn that Washington state, where Bundy began his career, has tall royal palms, just like Beverley Hills.
The worst thing is the emphasis on torture. It's becoming a genre unto itself. It's a reflection of our darkest impulses that we allow ourselves to watch a movie like this rude lump of foul deformity, which does to our national character what Bundy did to his victims.
What is it that drives some of us to excitement while watching a helpless victim tortured and slaughtered? It can't be completely alien to us because the US used to have well-attended public executions, and before that there were exhibitions like gladiator battles and bear baiting. Can that impulse, whatever part of the reptilian brain generates it, be very far from our common habit of buying tabloids in the supermarket checkout counters, the ones that feature color photos of celebrities now grown old and fat? This difference between Bundy's ecstasy and the adrenalin rush we get from watching this movie, isn't it a matter of degree, after all?
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