The trailer has dropped for the Ted Bundy movie starring Zac Efron as the 1970s serial killer, and let's just say it's got people talking. "Gross," reads one of the many appalled tweets rounded up by BuzzFeed. Critics are pointing out the jaunty music choice, noting the movie about a man who murdered at least 30 women seems more like a "witty romantic thriller," as one put it. Inquirer, in a piece headlined "Stop thirsting over Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, please," rounds up even more disgusted tweets, including one pointing out that the entertainment industry likes to romanticize "white Male serial killers." But Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, directed by Joe Berlinger (who also directed a new Netflix documentary about Bundy), also has its fair share of staunch supporters.
"Ted was attractive, intelligent, and smooth," says one. "That's how he got the attention of the women he killed. ... Women need to be aware of who they're trusting." Berlinger himself replied "Exactly!" to a tweet accusing detractors of "missing the point" of the film: "The reason the trailer seems to be painting him as this charismatic good guy is because Ted Bundy was a very [charismatic], nice all American guy who no one suspected." The director also retweeted someone who saw the film and pointed out it focuses more on Lily Collins' character, Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy's girlfriend, "who was manipulated by a monster & yet felt guilty for his sins. If you think this glamorizes Ted Bundy, think again." A review at Cosmopolitan echoes that, saying the film makes you wonder, "if you were in bed with a monster, would you know it?" (There was once backlash over a "Dahmer Tour.")