The director of the new Ted Bundy film has responded to claims it 'glorifies' the serial killer, saying it's a 'very naive and knee-jerk reaction'

Voltage Pictures/YouTubeZac Efron as Ted Bundy in ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.’

  • “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” have been criticised for glorifying serial killer Ted Bundy.
  • But the director Joe Berlinger is confident in the portrayal.
  • He said the movie is based on his ex-girlfriend’s account, and she was unaware of his horrifying crimes.
  • Bundy also famously got away with his crimes for so long because of his appearance.


Since the release of “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” and the trailer for “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” people have criticised filmmakers of glorifying the serial rapist and killer Ted Bundy.

Netflix even tweeted about it, pleading with viewers not to swoon over the murderer, saying “there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service – almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers.”

However, Joe Berlinger, who directed both the docuseries and the new film, told Bustle that he is still confident in his idea to dramaticise Bundy’s life in the way he has.

“I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction,” Berlinger told Bustle. “Because if you actually watch the movie, the last thing we’re doing is glorifying him. He gets his due at the end, but we’re portraying the experience of how one becomes a victim to that kind of psychopathic seduction.”

Berlinger, who has made other documentaries about murder cases, admitted that he makes entertainment out of other people’s tragedies. He also said the movies are certainly not for everyone, but telling filmmakers there are topics that are off limits is a “slippery slope.”

“I think there should be no censoring of subject matter, if it’s done responsibly,” he said. “And even if it’s done irresponsibly, people have the right to tell any story they want to tell.”


Read more: A Ted Bundy survivor says it makes sense for a heartthrob like Zac Efron to play the part of the serial killer because ‘that’s what Bundy wanted you to see’

Last week, one woman who was attacked by Bundy in 1978 and survived said she thought the portrayal of him made sense.

TMZ spoke toKathy Kleiner Rubin, who Bundy attacked at Florida State University’s Chi Omega house in 1978.

“I don’t have a problem with people looking at it, as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person,” she said. “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 what they saw – that’s what Bundy wanted you to see.”

Berlinger added that the audience sees Bundy through the eyes of his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who was unaware of what he was really capable of for a long time.

“The fact that somebody like Ted Bundy got away for so long, eluded capture for so long, because he was charming and manipulative and people around him thought he was not capable of these crimes, that’s a lesson you can’t learn enough and a very valid lesson to put out into the world,” he said.

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