When Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile was announced, many found it in poor taste as the trailer seemed to glamorize the life of sinister serial killer Ted Bundy. While the choice of a charismatic heartthrob to portray pure evil may have been questionable, by the final five minutes of the film, it was clear how wicked Bundy truly was. According to the director, Joe Berlinger, the intention of the film was to cast light on the viewpoint of Bundy's girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer. This is a vantage point not often seen while watching the documentary, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which was also created by Berlinger.
After the film, many of us felt a plethora of overwhelming emotions and had some questions about the atrocity that was Bundy's reign. But how do we separate truth from fiction? Knowledge is power and research is key.
10 Liz Does Exist & Shared A Life With Bundy
Liz Kloepfer was actually part of the filmmaking process and, in a recent interview with both Lily Collins, who portrays her on-screen, and Zac Efron, Lily talks about how Liz reached out to her prior to filming. During their meeting, Liz brought with her some photo albums that contained rare glimpses into their life as a family -- hers, her daughter Molly's, and Bundy's. No one can imagine the true horror someone experiences upon discovering the evil truth behind someone you love, and this is something the film did its best to portray in as realistic a way as possible.
9 Judge Edward Cowart Did Say That
Anyone who has watched the full documentary from Netflix was likely able to note the dialogue -- word for word -- as being exactly how it transpired in the courthouse during Bundy's capital murder trial. It's entirely accurate that Bundy was charismatic, almost to a fault for those, like Judge Cowart, who could see straight through it. However, this did not stop him from exchanging banter with the man on trial, including saying this famous line once he was declared guilty on all counts: 'You’d have made a good lawyer. I’d have loved to have you practice in front of me. But you went the wrong way, partner.'
8 Bundy Did Escape From Jail
The bizarre thing about Bundy was his method of escape -- not only physically but mentally as well. In his mind, it seemed that he fully believed he was innocent, to the point of manipulating those closest to him to speak out for him as portrayed in the film. In real life, Bundy believed he had every right to live a 'normal' life, leading to two prison escapes. The first was out of a library window, to which he'd been granted access on the grounds that he represented himself as a studying law student. The second was through a ceiling duct, through which he'd been able to squeeze due to skipping meals.
7 Bundy Couldn't Fully Hide His Evil Side
Liz admitted in the book she wrote following her experience that Bundy did, indeed, try to harm her. In the film, this isn't discussed explicitly but rather alluded to based on Bundy's silence. Liz states that Bundy attempted to poison her with smoke from the chimney in her home but failed.
Later on, Bundy would reveal in an interview that he 'just couldn't contain it' and 'fought it for a long, long time' but it was 'just too strong'. While his horrific acts weren't discussed in full detail, attempted to harm someone one claims to love is, indeed, wicked and vile.
6 Liz Did Put In The First Tip To Police
In the film, Liz admits at the very end that she's the one who called the tip in to the police regarding Bundy. In real life, she was tipped off by things she found of his, such as plaster, which was used to construct his fake injury, as well as the car he drove, which was perfectly described by police as being a match. In the movie, as well as in real life, this became the turning point for Liz as she began to realize what she was up against.
5 Carole Ann Did Become His Wife & Have His Child
As twisted as it may have seemed in the film, the reality was far more twisted than what many of us realize. Carole Ann did believe Bundy until the very end, so much so that she said 'yes' when he asked her to marry him while he was on trial. More specifically, he was on trial for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. Despite doing the unspeakable and committing the most horrible of crimes, Carole Ann did have a daughter with Bundy while he was on death row. She later divorced him three years prior to his execution, and not much is known about their daughter, Rose.
4 One Of His Potential Victims Did Escape
Carol DaRonch, who gave her personal experience in explicit detail in the Netflix documentary, is portrayed in the film as well. In real life, Bundy was able to convince Carol that he was a cop, and when she realized this was far from the truth, she fought her way out of his car. Despite a harrowing encounter and narrow escape, Bundy still maintained his innocence even though Carol identified him in the courtroom as being the man who attempted kidnapping her. This much is also included in the film, as Carol is depicted as not even being able to look Bundy in the face.
3 The Most Sickening Part Of The Film Ended With One Word: Hacksaw
Since the film aired, many have questioned the validity of the final scene. With such an attractive and suave actor portraying an infamous serial killer, we often forget that his crimes were among the worst this country has ever seen.
The final scene in the movie is concluded with Bundy admitting to using a hacksaw to decapitate one of his victims which, tragically, is likely based on Donna Manson. In a similar manner, in real life, Bundy admitted to performing unspeakable acts before discarding her head in Liz's fireplace. Contrary to the film, this final admittance to Liz happened over the phone rather than in-person.
2 Was Ted Bundy Really That Charming?
Unfortunately, this is something that the movie portrays accurately. While many consider the choice of the cast to be distasteful, the message is clear: You can't trust anyone. Even someone as seemingly trustworthy and attractive as Bundy was, he was concealing true evil underneath a charismatic exterior. This is how he was able to lure so many women in and, unfortunately, why he had a crowd of young women who gathered at his trials on the grounds of his 'dreamy' appearance. His attractive nature would eventually be what lured innocent women to their deaths, leaving in his wake nothing but trauma and pain for their families and friends.
1 Yes, He Did Sign His 'Wanted' Poster
The biggest takeaway from the film that both its director, as well as actors Zac Efron and Lily Collins, wanted for viewers is that this was created for the victims. It was also created to show that, in the words of Bundy himself, 'killers don't just crawl out of the dark'. The sad truth is that Bundy thoroughly enjoyed the spotlight; some might even say he thrived in it. The end of the film provides a list of the known victims of Bundy, a tribute to their memory despite the evil they endured. Of the film, Zac Efron stated, 'I would love, not necessarily just my fans, but anybody who watches the movie, to really invest time in who you trust yourself with, and who you think you’re safe with.'