Tag Archives: serial killer

On Netflix: EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE

If Ted Bundy had had his pick of actors to play him in a crime drama about his life, he probably would have chosen himself. That alone tells you the kind of person Liz Kloepfer (Kendall) met during the time Bundy was out doing unspeakable things to women with long brown hair. An anomaly of a person, Bundy stands alone and unparalleled for sheer affront, a man unafraid to challenge authority to the bitter end, a man who leaves behind a chain of terror for the most part, unsurpassed.

Joe Berlinger’s movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile correctly places Zac Efron, an actor with unusually attractive looks and a body that most men would kill for front and center and while he doesn’t quite look like Bundy, Efron all but loses himself in the part, assuming Bundy’s mannerisms, charm, gift for words, self-serving theatrics, and unbelievable but fatal magnetism. Efron’s Bundy is definitely the quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is a scarily precise performance as the infamous serial killer who even when he found himself on trial, he had women like Carol Ann Boone (Kaya Scoledario) panting inside a courthouse, defending him to the end even when it was clear through evidence that he was not the kind of man you would bring home to introduce to your parents as your future husband. That Kendall (Lily Collins) survived being one of those unfortunate victims remains a mystery even to Kendall herself and sadly, the movie doesn’t spend more time with her but merely uses her (and Scoledario) as a blueprint to go where the controversy and yes, evil thrived. Perhaps this was the only way to truly make a movie about someone like Bundy, because with a personality as toxic and as narcotic as his, how else could one grasp the level to which he had a nation flummoxed as the killer of women?

Neither Berlinger nor Efron have the answers. Certainly not Kendall, who now lives a live of privacy. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is mainly a question mark of a movie, one that simply presents the reality through KLendall’s deluded but cognizant eyes, and makes no attempt to analyze further, and that, perhaps, is all that this movie needs to be.

PREVENGE

PREVENGE
UK
Director: Alice Lowe
Runtime: 88 minutes
Language: English

5/5

If you like your comedy as black as Vantablack then Alice Lowe’s new movie, which she turned into a one-woman show (she stars, wrote, and directed it at breakneck speed while seven months pregnant) will be a hoot from start to finish. [Viewers may remember her several years back in another indie movie called Sightseers.] Alice revisits her psychopathic universe by telling the story of a very pregnant Ruth whose baby is talking to her, giving her orders to murder people. If pregnancy weren’t that difficult already! [I don’t know — I’ve never been, but I’ve witnessed it’s no walk in the park to be that close to a ticking time bomb.]

That is precisely what Ruth is — a smiling, human ticking time bomb. Her unborn baby’s orders drive her to do just that, off a random group of people that she happens to meet on the go, when it turns out that there may be some deeper truth to the madness. Ruth expresses through us the sheer hell that it can be to not just be a newly single woman trying to make ends meet but also one that tries to right a wrong — it’s the way she casually goes by it, almost as if this were just another casualty of daily living or, as she tells a woman while holding a knife, “I am a working mother.”

I’m not going to lie, I was howling in laughter through most of the movie’s best parts, so I wonder if perhaps I may have some weird stunted sense of sympathy, empathy . . . oh, who knows. Prevenge is as twisted and demented as they come, it’s got Alice Lowe dominating every scene from start to finish, and it gives you a wallop of an ending that will tell you perhaps it’s not about revenge at all. Since its release March 24 (NYC had a special presentation on March 20th at IFC), it’s been playing at limited showings — you can only see it at the 10 o’clock hour at the IFC. Watch it on Shudder, where it is available for free.

Prevenge will be released soon on iTunes and other online platforms.