Kathy Kleiner Rubin, a real-life survivor of a Ted Bundy attack, thinks Zac Efron perfectly embodies his role as the serial killer in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. With its recent release at the Sundance Film Festival, the movie brings a new perspective to the life and crimes of Bundy, as it is portrayed through the eyes of his longterm love interest Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), who vehemently denied the truth for years. Efron is already gaining droves of attention for his work in the film.
The biopic also features a cast of mainstream talent including John Malkovich (Bird Box), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense). The film is directed by Joe Berlinger, who created and produced the wildly popular Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes released on Netflix. The two films have generated severe backlash, with some believing they portray the infamous serial killer in a positive light. However, one of Bundy's near-victims doesn't have any issues with the movies' approach.
In an interview with TMZ (hat tip Newsweek), Kleiner Rubin explained why she's OK with her attacker's portrayal in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile:
"I believe that in order to show him exactly the way it was, it's not really glorifying him, but it's showing him. And when they do say positive and wonderful things about him, that's who they saw. That's who Bundy wanted you to see."
With 2019 marking the 30-year anniversary since the killing spree finale and execution of Bundy, Kleiner Rubin is speaking out more about her experience. In 1978, Kleiner Rubin narrowly escaped death when Bundy invaded her dorm room and attacked her, only to become startled and run off. With Bundy's victims reaching a death toll of over 30, Kleiner Rubin is now able to give a perspective like no other. Berlinger and Kleiner are two people who seem to have a keen sense of the serial killer, with the former believing Bundy "was an American celebrity of charm and charisma."
The charms of Ted Bundy still seem to shine their way through from the grave with viewers apparently lusting after the serial killer and marveling in his good looks on social media platforms. The adoration came to a level in such that Netflix sent out a tweet asking their viewers to shift their attention elsewhere. The works of Efron, Collins and Berlinger are an impactful reminder that charm in the wrong hands becomes deadly. There is a sense of empowerment and source of protection at those who ask questions and are not easily swooned by good looks and a correctly placed smile. With survivors of attacks like Kleiner Rubin speaking out about the nature of a serial killer and the hope in it being a lesson for audience members today, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a viable source for discussion for a new generation.
Source: TMZ (via Newsweek)