Zac Efron has a natural charm that did him very well in his old teen heartthrob days, but with the upcoming Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the star uses his charisma to more unsettling ends, lending a certain likability to one of history’s most notorious serial killers.
Joe Berlinger’s film tells the story of Ted Bundy from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins. What’s surprising about the pic’s first trailer, viewable above, is how light and comedic the tone is for a movie about a real life murderer, but then again, the point seems to be that Bundy didn’t have a sinister air about him. With Efron in the role, the killer comes across as a pretty amiable guy, making it all too believable that both Elizabeth and various members of the American public let themselves be deceived into thinking he was wrongly accused.
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Efron and Collins are joined by an intriguing array of supporting players, including John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Haley Joel Osment, James Hetfield, Grace Victoria Cox, Kaya Scodelario, Angela Sarafyan, Jeffrey Donovan, Terry Kinney and Dylan Baker. Extremely Wicked is one of two Ted Bundy projects that director Joe Berlinger is coming out with this month, too, the other being his documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. The 4-parter went up on Netflix just yesterday to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Bundy’s execution.
While a release date hasn’t yet been announced for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the movie is set to premiere on January 26th at the Sundance Film Festival, meaning we can expect a few reviews to emerge online in the next couple of days. As always, watch this space for more.