Ted Bundy found his victims lurking in the darkness at night or faking injuries to gain sympathy from the women he viciously slaughtered, but would he have been more deadly in today’s dating world where potential victims could be just a swipe away?
That’s a question that was addressed Thursday night in a Q&A with the director and cast of the new Ted Bundy biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” following a screening of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“This movie took you there in this moment, you’re the person in the scene there when there were phones connected to walls and detectives knocked on your doors and it was a time when it wasn’t swipe left and swipe right and you’re on a f---ing dating app,” Zac Efron, who portrays Bundy in the film, said of era when Bundy’s crimes took place.
Efron cautioned that in today’s world it could be even easier to fall victim to a psychopath masquerading as an attractive dating prospect.
“Forgive me, but, those apps work fine, but be careful is the point. Be very careful,” he said. “You got to know who to trust, never judge a book by its cover, and always be safe.”
The film, which tells the story from the perspective of Bundy’s long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer was designed to serve as a cautionary tale for today’s generation about the dangers that can be lurking in seemingly attractive packages.
“The first thing I did before I decided that I really wanted to do this movie, was I called my two college aged daughters, who are very bright young women going to very fine schools,” the film’s director Joe Berlinger told Oxygen.com. “They have a lot of very smart friends and none of them really knew who Ted Bundy was when I asked and so the idea of using the Bundy story from this different point of view as a way of telling a cautionary tale for a new generation that you really need to understand who you are getting into bed with, metaphorically or literally.”
Berlinger selected Efron for the film because he wanted someone who had a “real life persona as a teen heart throb” who would be able to portray Bundy’s charismatic outside persona, making it more difficult to spot the danger lurking within the serial killer. It’s believed Bundy killed more than 30 women during his terrifying reign.
Berlinger said in today’s era of internet catfishing and ride share drivers, its often even more difficult to know who to trust.
“That’s the nature of evil unfortunately, sometimes the people you least expect and most often expect do terrible things and so telling the story from Liz’s (point of view) and using somebody like Zac Efron, not using, casting somebody like Zac Efron was kind of essential to the plan,” he said.
Gina Pace contributed to this report.
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