Serial killers have always been an interesting subject for film and television but perhaps now is when the genre is most exploited. And no, we are not talking about one more criminal fiction, especially when it deals with real murderers. There are victims and families of real victims and, also, murderers and psychopaths increasingly turned into stars. Ted Bundy is the last great subject of serial killers for audiovisual production, among documentaries, series and films, few will forget his name.
One of the most anticipated is ‘No Man of God’, a film starring Elijah Wood as analyst and FBI agent Bill Hagmaier. Luke Kirby, known for ‘The wonderful Mrs. Maisel’ is in charge of giving body and voice to Bundy. We will have to differentiate this film from the documentary of the also upcoming Netflix documentary ‘Conversations with a murderer: The Ted Bundy tapes’ and the 2019 feature film ‘Extremely cruel, evil and perverse’, where former Disney star Zac Efron will play Bundy .
Let us remember, for those who still do not know the story of this increasingly famous rapist and murderer, who killed between 30 (the proven number) and 100 women. With two escape attempts and during his stay on death row, Bundy never stopped being a media spectacle that does not decline, quite the opposite.
Despite the fact that we have only received the trailer for the film, the film already draws criticism from many skeptics of the focus and attention on Ted Bundy.
Amber Sealy, director of the film, has been criticized by Joe Berlinger, director of the film starring Zac Efron, for discrediting his approach to promoting his. Sealy posted an email from Berlinger on Instagram inviting him to watch the movie and discuss in person.
In a statement to Variety, Berlinger said:
Promote your film on the rape and murder of women by Tearing Down My Movie, which was designed to be a victim-centered film about the psychology of betrayal and deception, made with the full support of the victim, Liz Kendall. She, played by Lily Collins, supported by other victims of Bundy’s crimes, felt intellectually dishonest.
While it’s unknown what Sealy said that pissed Bundy so off, the controversy over which approach is the right one, with so many similar products at once, is already over. Here’s what Sealy had to say about their approach, compared to unspecified ones:
She was certainly intimidated by the fact that so many movies had been made about him. And then I thought, if there’s going to be another one, I’m going to make it stand out from the crowd. Personally, I don’t think any of the movies that have already been raised so far have actually shown the real Bundy. They always glorify it. They make him look like a male model, so smart, so charismatic, a teacher in disguise. I don’t see that. When I look at him, watch interviews and listen to the tapes, I see a deeply insecure, needy, almost incel-like kind of man who just wants praise and people to tell him how great he is.
The truth is that Berlinger’s film had a critical and public reception that, without being negative, cannot be classified as successful either. We will have to wait for its premiere to see which of these two approaches triumphs or, if on the contrary, this is a discussion without winners. And to think that we will be left without more ‘Mindhunter’ …
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