Home Entertainment Ted Bundy was neither sexy nor a genius

Ted Bundy was neither sexy nor a genius

This year is another movie about Ted Bundy. In fact, create the two. Social media wasn’t too excited last weekend as trailers for both American Boogie Man (starring One Tree Hill veteran Chad Michael Murray) and Norman of God (starring Luke Kirby and Elijah Wood) were dropped – 20th century. Two movie murderers on the American series of movies. It is likely that at least 30 women were killed, but some are estimated to have killed up to 100.

<p>Luke Kirby as Ted Bundy with Elijah Wood in ‘No Man of God'</p>

Since Bandy’s infamy in the 1970s, his story hasn’t been a stranger to our screen, fueled not only by the number of murders, but also by the horrifying nature of the murders. It was told in the 1986 television mini-series The Deliberate Stranger, the 2002 film Ted Bundy, the 2003 film The Stranger Beside Me, the 2004 film The Riverman, and the 2007 film Bundy: A Legacy of Evil. You might have thought that his legacy would fade over time, but in the last few years, the churn rate of Bandy’s story has only risen. In 2019 alone, Zac Efron starred in Netflix movies “Extremely Wicked” and “Shockingly Evil and Vile”, and Bandy’s killing was documentary “Conversation with the Murderer” (also for Netflix) and ABC’s 20/20: Bandy. Was explored in. No more bandy stories are needed in 2021. So why are they still made?

It is a well-known fact that viewers suffer from a true criminal obsession in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Podcast serials have reviewed the 1999 killing of high school girl Haemin Lee and are widely said to be still the most listened to. Record podcast. While true crime continues to dominate the world of podcasts today, this genre is in shows and movies such as Tiger King, Don’t F ** k with Cats, Why You Killed Me, etc. It is ranked in the most popular category of Netflix. It’s one of the hottest things on the platform.

The cancellation of the morbid story reflects a mutually beneficial relationship between the viewer and the filmmaker. Earlier this year, Hannah Woodhead, a critic of the movie magazine Little White Lies, said telling a story like Bundy “has a win-win for the producer.” Writers can work from the wealth of films that already exist on this topic. Guaranteed audience familiar with the story. Even more useful (in the producer’s eyes) is the amount of source material surrounding Bandy, given the sheer number of casualties.

But the online audience is right to criticize the endless conveyor belt for serial killers. Through immortality on print and on the screen, it is no exaggeration to say that Bandy has reached a kind of mythical position in the consciousness of the people by repeating certain distortions and half-truths over and over again. .. Most notably, many bandy films incorporate the idea that serial killers are irresistibly handsome. This is underpinned by a cast of Naughty’s heartbeats like Eflon and today’s Murray. But, as philosopher and writer Tom Whyman argues, “when you look at Bandy’s photographs,’handsome’ seems by no means correct. In fact, police often cite Bandy’s “chameleon-like appearance” (he is a white man with brown hair on average) as one of the main reasons why it was so difficult to catch. Did.

Then there is the myth of personality that surrounds Bundy’s legacy. Dramatisations have historically painted the serial killer as an evil genius who also seemed incredibly harmless on the surface. This concept rears its head in the American Boogeyman trailer, which shows police scratching their heads over his murders. We then see Bundy plotting in his car, with voice-overs reiterating that he was indeed a “good son”. The teaser for No Man of God also goes for the “intelligent enigma” trope. Over dramatic strings, we’re warned: “He will cat-and-mouse with you – he will make you think you are getting somewhere.” It’s embarrassingly cheesy. Crucially, I’m not sure it’s true.

Bandy’s curious ability to commit crimes in the daytime was undoubtedly helped by the fact that he was a wealthy white man. When six young women disappeared from Seattle in the summer of 1974 and two more were kidnapped from a crowded beach during the day, witnesses said Bandy approached them and introduced themselves in his real name. I reported. This information was published with a sketch of the victim. However, police rejected the tip-off after the four reported Bandy to the authorities. Indeed, couldn’t this seemingly respectable law student be a practitioner?

This sense of suspicion and confusion remained when Bandy was finally tried for kidnapping, assault, and murder. In 1976, a psychiatrist who evaluated him explained: And in his Last Judgment in 1979, he was sentenced to murder for the murder of Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. The judge told him: It is a tragedy for this court to see such a complete waste of mankind. You are a bright young man You would have made a good lawyer. I want you to practice in front of you. But you went another way, partner. The fact that police and the judiciary couldn’t find Bandy at a glance-and even when he was on trial, he was probably “one of us” more than the one who killed dozens of women. Seems like-more about their failure than Bandy’s “genius”. So why do filmmakers continue to focus on the latter?

When it comes to giving Hollywood treatment to such stories, and in turn continuing to admire the intellect and charm of people like Bandy, we can all admit that it’s enough. There is nothing sexy, fascinating and genius about the immense ruthless harm that Bandy has done to her woman and her family. Their suffering is so real that we often overlook it. As a perspective, imagine a sensational feature film about the deaths of Sarah Evalard, Nicole Smallman, Bever Henry, Grace Millane, or other notable incidents of gender-based violence in recent years. Please give me. It’s even more unpleasant to imagine that one of the perpetrators is portrayed as a handsome yet dangerous genius to attract a large audience. These murders may be more recent, but it should be remembered that Bandy’s legacy is still alive and memorable. His ex-girlfriend, the victim’s family, and some of the women who escaped his violence are still alive today.

Crime stories can undoubtedly be carried out in subtle and delicate ways that bring justice to victims and their families. They can also transcend our unhealthy charm to the perpetrator’s “genius”. Critic Adrian Houghton pointed out Season 3 of Cereal, which focuses less on the sensationalism of the murder of a particular woman and zooms out to criticize the judicial system more broadly. I also follow a group of vigilant Facebook users trying to track down cat murderers in the documentary “Don’t F ** k with cats”, police failures, and the strangeness of online crime. .. .. Both show that it is possible to talk bigger and more unexpectedly.

But the retelling of Bandy’s story does the opposite. There is no curiosity or originality, but it doesn’t have to be. As critics have pointed out, repeating the same story that appeals to our worst instincts is literally embedded in our business model. In the process, they fall into the exact same pitfalls, exceptional sizing and romanticizing someone who has caused so much pain in so many women. The world now knows the story of Ted Bundy-it’s time to tell another story.

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