Movies

Bundy movie more intellectual than standard serial killer films: Efron

LONDON Zac Efron, who won over legions of female fans in the High School Musical films, takes on a more sinister role in the new crime drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, playing US serial killer Ted Bundy.

The film, which opens here tomorrow, follows the 1979 trial of Bundy, who was executed in Florida in 1989, through the eyes of his girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins).

Before his death, he admitted to killing more than 30 young women in the 1970s.

For Efron, the role is very different from his past work, with recent credits including musical The Greatest Showman and comedy Baywatch.

"This was a way into a genre that I thought was a little bit more cerebral than your standard hack-and-slash movie," the 31-year-old US heart-throb said, adding that he liked versatility.

"This is an in-depth look into one of the worst mass manipulators of the public and mass murderers of young girls and women probably ever and it is a hard story to tell."

The film takes its title from the words of Judge Edward D. Cowart (played by John Malkovich) when he sentenced 32-year-old Bundy to death, calling his crimes "extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile".

The televised Miami trial saw the charismatic former law student, who escaped police custody twice, represent himself in a courtroom attended by fans.

"Nobody believed Bundy was capable of these horrible crimes because of how he looked, how he acted," director Joe Berlinger said. "We live in an era of... people putting out false imagery of who they are, and so the lessons of Bundy today, I think, are even more relevant than ever before." - REUTERS

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