Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed has become something of a legend in certain circles, to the extent that a lot of what we know about her is fiction parading as gory fact. While authors, tumblr poets, musicians and Hollywood directors have romanticised the Hungarian noblewoman (there’s a song called Blood Countess, in case you were looking for the perfect music for Halloween), the serial killer to capture the spotlight (again) in the past week is no less deranged.

Hollywood has Zac Efron play Ted Bundy – abs and all

While Ted Bundy may have not killed virgins in an attempt to retain his youth, he was a vicious rapist, serial killer and necrophile who finally admitted to having killed 30 women. However, the media speculates that the number may be far higher. Now, the Vermont native was known for being extremely charismatic and a man who used his good looks to get women to trust him. According to reports, Bundy would fake an injury or disability and charm his victims before assaulting and killing them. At times, the serial killer would also revisit the location of the crime and perform sexual acts with the dead victims.

Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy leaving the Leon County, Florida court

Bundy was a clever man who made sure to commit his crimes across multiple states – it took the state police departments some time before they figured that the murderer they were individually looking for was the same man. His facial structure was also of the generic sort which helped him change his appearance quite easily and made detection difficult.

Now, Netflix has come up with a four-part documentary on the man and there’s a movie titled Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring the hunky Zac Efron. This hasn’t gone down well with many netizens who fear that the documentary and the film only serve to fulfil Bundy’s purpose – give him the attention he craved while portraying him as a deliciously deviant and attractively evil figure. It’s the romanticisation of the macabre that we’ve come to expect from Hollywood.

“I don’t have a problem with people looking at it, and as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person,” Kathy Kleiner Rubin, one of the survivors told TMZ. “I believe that in order to show him exactly the way he was, it’s not really glorifying him, but it’s showing him, and when they do say positive and wonderful things about him… that’s what they saw, that’s what Bundy wanted you to see.”

 

“The movie does glorify it more than I think it should be. But like I said I think everyone should see it and understand him as what he was even when he was the perfect son. I think hopefully it will make women […] be more aware of their surroundings and be cautious. He had different tactics that he used for people to help him get in cars or do things, and in your gut, if you just feel that something doesn’t feel right, just say no,” she added.

 

The trailer for the movie has the kind of rock and roll song you’d expect to play in the background while Wonder Woman beat the shit out of the bad guys. It is imperative that we look at Bundy as the murderer he was and while the matter of his looks and charm cannot be disassociated from his story (after all, he used them as tools to secure his victims), we must ensure that it doesn’t take centre stage.

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