TV Review: The Ted Bundy Tapes (Netflix)

Premiered on Netflix this month, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a four-part series by Joe Berlinger that takes a look inside the mind of one of the most prolific serial killers, Ted Bundy. Featuring previously unheard interviews with him on death row and archival footage of those affected by his actions, the documentary forms a searing portrait of the notorious killer who was known for being charming and handsome as much as he was known for being a monster.

Rating:

A very timely release from Netflix with the recent release of the trailer for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (which is due to be released on Sky Cinema this year and also directed by Joe Berlinger).

As one of the most notorious serial killers, it’s always interesting to find out more about a man like Ted Bundy. However, Netflix has recently had to release a statement asking its audience to stop calling him “hot”. I had to laugh, because that’s exactly what I feel that this documentary was supposed to do.

It didn’t focus on some of the worst things that Bundy did – I was looking for details about the decapitated heads apparently found in his house, comments on him sleeping with bodies long after he had killed them, questions about how he admitted to 30 murders but that they thought it was a lot more. Instead, what we saw was Bundy’s charming persona, his escapes from jail, the way he made police officers believe that he was somebody else entirely – all the kinds of things that you would normally congratulate a man for if he wasn’t brutally killing women in the meantime.

But I suppose that’s what’s so shocking about Bundy, the reasons why not even his wife believed that he had killed anybody. I just think the balance was a little off with this documentary, and it’s no wonder people are coming away from it going “Well, yeah, he was hot!” because it doesn’t leave you with the impact of just how much of a cruel, disgusting monster he was underneath it all.

I just hope that Berlinger’s film takes a much darker look at his life, as Ted Bundy really doesn’t deserve to be remembered in any positive way.

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