Netflix has a message for those fixated on how dreamy Ted Bundy: there are plenty of hot guys out there who haven’t actually killed people.
The streaming giant's new docu-series, “Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” features never-before-heard interviews with the serial murderer recorded by journalists Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in 1980 while he was on death row. Between it and the upcoming biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” starring Zac Efron as the infamous serial killer (slated to come out later this year), it appears Ted Bundy is all the rage.
Which is why Netflix offered up a tongue-in-cheek reminder to not go overboard with the Bundy fascination. After all, he did admit to brutally murdering at least 30 women before he was executed.
"I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy's alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service — almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers," Netflix tweeted Monday.
And there are plenty of people out there commenting on how “hot” and charming Bundy is.
Bundy's "hotness" aside, the rekindled attraction to him has sparked some more serious social criticism of how he's presented in the docu-series and will be portrayed in the film.
In an op ed for The Guardian, Suzanne Moore argues that “Ted Bundy would have loved to be played by an ex-Disney heart-throb.” She asks why the filmmakers felt the need to romanticize a serial killer ultimately defined by his own mediocrity.
“I abhor this worshipping at the shrine of a mediocre rapist that much true crime and fiction consists of,” she writes.
Katie Dowd, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, says the Netflix series “falls right into a trap Bundy set 30 years ago.”
"There is no such thing as a gentleman killer. Bundy was not special. He was not a genius. He was a pathetic misogynist so wounded by rejection he killed young women to feel powerful. In allowing his jailhouse interviews to narrate the show, the documentary allows Bundy — all over again — to wrap his meaningless life in self-aggrandizing fictions."
Dowd argues that by allowing Bundy to speak in the third-person, the series allows him to present his preferred version of events and essentially manipulate the audience. As the docu-series showed, Bundy was always self-serving, up until the last hours of his life.
Kathy Kleiner Rubin survived being attacked by Bundy during his infamous Florida State University sorority house in 1978.
She told TMZ that "The movie [the Efron film] does glorify it more than I think it should be,” but she said she thinks “everyone should see it and understand him as what he was even when he was the perfect son.”
However, some argue in favor of Bundy's "sexy" portrayal.
"Bundy’s appearance was the reason he was able to trap his targets. To tell the story and leave that part out wouldn’t just be inaccurate, it would also fail to convey why his victims were taken in by him," writes Victoria Selman for the Independent.
And forensic psychologist Darrel Turner told INSIDER, "I think it's important that people understand that Ted Bundy was successful because he was so 'ordinary,' but more than that, he was charming and handsome and a charismatic young man.”
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