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Bundy
cast: Michael Reilly Burke, Boti Ann Bliss, Julianna McCarthy, Jennifer Tisdale, and Tom Savini

director: Matthew Bright

95 minutes (18) 2002 Tartan VHS retail
Also available to buy on DVD
[released 27 October]

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Mike Philbin
Ted Bundy was just a normal American citizen. He lived on our planet for 43 years before his state execution. He held down a position of great trust at the Samaritans. He had romance in his life. He was a respected member of his community. He was a skilful person in many respects but for his totally anti-social side. Between the years of 1974 and 1978, Bundy was a serial killer who moved from state to state raping and murdered more than 28 women, college students and girls.
   It would have been so easy for the makers of this movie to go all Grand Guignol and special effects on our collective viewing ass. Maybe it was a case of budgetary constraints but there's very little in the way of over-the-top gore in this film that isn't merely implied by misdirection and mood or shown as an off-shot 'hit' or a splat of blood on Bundy himself.
   In many ways this movie pitches Bundy himself as the victim and you really believe it. A kleptomaniac, a liar and one of the thinnest moral consciences in a human being, Bundy is shown in his dayside (all bright and cheery and clever) and the stark contrast of his night-side (all bright and cheery and clever) - now that was done intentionally; Bundy was a bright, cheery, clever killer who struck at just the right moment when he had your confidence. And the movie conveys this sense of finality in his murdering deed with utmost power - you really believe he is doing the deed, even though (and probably because) you aren't shown the red-painted detail. There is great use of mid-action fade-outs here, too.
   We see Bundy as if being filmed for a docudrama, which puts one in mind of the to-camera scenes in Man Bites Dog but without the staged theatrics. People really do work in ways that can't be logically scripted. Twice, Bundy escapes from captivity and we see him comically running away like a spoilt child. The makers of this movie really wanted to set Bundy outside the normal social sphere by filming him doing very odd things, stealing trees and stuffing them in his canary yellow VW beetle, crying at the wheel of his car, carrying bodies down the street past a party of revellers...
   Hell, this is the 1970s, man! By showing this one great scene of Bundy carrying a dead body in a sheet past a party of revellers, the moviemaker is commenting on why serial killers like Bundy could proliferate in an ambivalent, decadent era like the 1970s. Like the Night-Stalker and other serial killers who fed of the social climate around him, Bundy was just made for and by those people.
   Hats off to the makers of Bundy for a great, honest and cruel depiction of a serial killer at his job.
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