Film: Bundy: Legacy of Evil (2008)
Director: Michael Feifer
Starring: Corin Nemec, Kane Hodder
Written by: Michael Feifer
This isn’t the first time I’ve tangled with Ted Bundy in film, though this is likely the first time I’ve seen a Bundy flick in which the serial killer wasn’t a lovable slapstick goofball and was played as, you know, a serial killer. Whereas Matthew Bright’s 2002 take on the Tedster was a laugh riot that occasionally paid lip service to the fact that its hero was a real life monster, Michael Feifer’s take on Bundy reverses the ratio. Sure, there are a few absurdist moments in the film (more, if you consider the omnipresence of Ted’s tight pants, faux cowboy boots, and sweet 70s do), but there’s no ambiguity to the film. Unlike Bright’s Bizarro treasure, I didn’t wonder whether I should be laughing or recoiling in horror. The Ted Bundy presented here is at best a twitchy yet likeable prick; at worst he’s, well, Ted Bundy.
The entire strength of this film rests upon good casting. Corin Nemec of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose fame is absolutely spot-on as the lanky, baby-faced psycho killer. Nemec excellently portrays both ends of Bundy’s psycho personality, playing up the man’s overbearing charisma and the rage beneath the veneer.
And when Nemec lets loose with the crazy, he is legitimately frightening. The best example of this comes when Ted goes on a nighttime rampage through a sorority house, smashing girls’ brains out with a baseball bat and explosive ritualism. Throughout, Nemec plays Bundy straight out of Nosferatu, creeping around the dark hallways, more predator – indeed, more vampire – than man. The outbursts of violence that follow feel as though they end not because Bundy runs out of hate, but because the human body can only absorb so much damage.
Yeah, there are a few great moments of goofiness. The scene where a drunk Ted rambles his red VW Beetle of Death along a highway before getting busted for owning a rapekit is pretty happy-go-lucky. Better yet, Bundy pulls one of history’s great dick moves when he reunites with his ex-girlfriend in California. After a swell day out on the town they hit a classy restaurant, where Bundy proposes to the girl. Overjoyed, she accepts, after which Ted hits the bathroom and just leaves her. Perhaps all the murder got desensitizing, but that move was just cold.
I’ll always have a warm spot for Matthew Bright’s screwball slaughterer, but Michael Feifer’s Bundy is the superior film. Corin Nemec’s magnificent portrayal of Bundy hits all the right notes, most of all a sense of reality which makes this horror film all the worse.