Monday, November 9, 2009

REWIND: Ted Bundy Review

I finally found that double feature dvd that I was suppose to have reviewed last month, and I'll have that ready for this week. In the meantime, enjoy a classic review from the Vault, while I prepare more horror reviews to throw at you, including some special surprises.

Ted Bundy Dvd

In 2002 Ted Bundy came out and tried to chronicle the real life story of a man obsessed with sex and serial killing. Ted Bundy is a scary dvd, but more importantly was a scary individual to have running around our world.

Ted Bundy tells the complete story and unflinching at times in its show of sexuality, and brutality, it seems at times to be a made for tv movie, but its over the top fascination with gore and sex seems to point to a short run in theaters and/or a straight to dvd film. I’m not quite sure of the circumstances. However, this one is interesting on many levels.

Here is a trailer for Ted Bundy:



The story tells the same biographical story that most of these movies start out with. Introducing their childhood and an attempt to give you some background, but this one is nothing extreme. Since Bundy didn’t really start getting into some serious business until he was older.

The story is laughable at times as the character seems over the top, and stupid. However, it starts to thicken up quickly as a relationship goes sour for Bundy and he starts to go insane. What bothered me at this point was how quick this guy turned from slacker to serious, career driven Ted Bundy. He really turned things around and started dating two girls at once, and then he really started to get into a cycle of killing. The movie makes a point of showing a lot of rough sex between Bundy and his love interests. Apparently this is to set up his murders later in the film, but the graphic sexual scenes are done with some sort of sincerity and are not too unlike softcore movies that were once shown on the Spice Channel (cable). I’m not sure how the actresses felt about making these scenes because they are really taking some punishment at times, and it is way overdone for this type of movie.



We then move forward to the murders, these are done without remorse (at least the way they are shown) and Bundy is sly and quick in these. He gains the trust of several women with his good looks, and then comes the hammer. He knocks them out, sexually assaults them and at some point even has sex with corpses. This is pretty sick, and what makes it worse is that its not a fictional story.

If those things weren’t bad enough, the film shows Bundy getting letters from women offering all sorts of things to him. It even shows Bundy getting visits from women and then paying off guards to let him have sex with them in the “family meeting” room. Whether or not this is true it’s appalling to think that this could in fact have happened.

The film quality is right above straight to dvd levels. The visual aspect is dead on and even though the actors do seem played na├»ve and over the top, I went along with it fine. I didn’t really have a lot of problems with the visual storytelling in this film, even if I did find some of the edits and time frames a bit amateur.

Why Ted Bundy is a scary movie: The movie seems a bit too pretentious to be a horror film. However, it is in fact a horror film as it glorifies the violence a little too much to be a straight forward biopic. This film tries to make Bundy an anti-hero, as some of the 80’s slasher flicks turned several serial killers into fan favorites. If you weren’t keen to knowing that Ted Bundy was indeed a real person, you might be a fan of his slayings as fictional accounts. However, this is not 100% fiction, and the fact that he was able to slay so many young women and have police fooled is amazing to me. It’s scary to think that the human mind could allow themselves to get a level where they would habitually kill and sexually assault women. Not only is the acts scary, it’s scary to think that police were truly baffled for so long, and furthermore that Bundy was smart enough to get away with it for so long.

The brutality, whether implied or not, is disturbing to say the least. There is even a seen where Bundy is being prepared to go to the electric chair and they stuff him full of cotton. I won’t tell you how, but you can imagine the horror in this scene. There are a lot of bad things in this film, and I’m not sure if the director and film makers wanted to glorify such things, but they sure make an entertaining portrait of Ted Bundy in this film, and like Leatherface, Michael Meyers, and so many other fictional killers, Bundy can easily be placed on horror fans mantels as an icon of horror; if it wasn’t real!

Ted Bundy is a scary movie on a lot of levels, but the most horrific aspect of this film is the narrative of truth that it does spin. While the movie takes a lot of creative freedoms with the film, further investigation of Ted Bundy’s story will point you to one of the most prolific and smart serial killers ever to walk the earth.

I would recommend this film to anyone that likes true crime. The fact that this is based on real life makes it even more scary than anything fictional. It might even be true what they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Ted Bundy is available on dvd and is worthwhile in the same category as other “true event” horror movies.

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1 comment:

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

Oooooh -- thanks for the suggestion! I am a connoisseur of true crime novels and serial killer lore, so I'm always on the lookout for movies about the likes of Bundy, Gacy, Dahmer, etc.

A few other great serial killer filims: "M," a disturbing German film based (supposedly) on Peter Kurten's murderous exploits, and "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." The latter is quite possibly the most unnerving movie I've ever seen.