Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Joe Berlinger, USA 2019, 110’
Chef Flynn Green Book

Though there have been several films made about Ted Bundy, this one is unusual for showing the infamous killer through the eyes of his friend and lover, Elizabeth Kloepfer (presented in the film as Liz Kendall), who for years refused to accept his guilt. They met in the late 1960s when Kloepfer was still in college. Ted (boldly portrayed by Zac Efron) took care of lonely Liz (Lily Collins) and her daughter. For several years they formed a harmonious and seemingly happy family, until Bundy was accused of cruel and unimaginable crimes. While producing the fictionalized version, director Joe Berlinger made a four-part documentary Conversations with a Killer for Netflix based on interviews that Bundy gave in prison. However, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile eschews scenes of violence. I made the conscious decision to not really show any murder or any criminality on Bundy's part because the whole movie is experienced through the POV of the people who loved him, explains Berlinger, I wanted to give the audience the same experience that the real character was having.

Jakub Demiańczuk


Atlanta FF 2019 – Originator Award; Mammoth FF 2019 – Grand Jury Award, Best Actor; Newport Beach FF 2019 – Best Actor

Joe Berlinger

Joe Berlinger is an American director, producer and screenwriter who mainly works in documentary films. He holds a degree in German Studies from Colgate University. Berlinger started working on films as an assistant to the legendary documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles. For many years he made films with Bruce Sinofsky, receiving an Oscar nomination for the third part of the Paradise Lost series about the West Memphis Three. The duo also made a renowned documentary, Some Kind of Monster, about the heavy-metal group Metallica. Currently, Berlinger is working on a film about Elvis Presley's longtime manager.

Selected filmography

1996 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (doc.)

2000 Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (doc.)

2002 One Who Day (doc.)

2004 Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (doc.)

2011 Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (doc.)

2016 Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (doc.)

2017 Intent to Destroy (doc.)

2019 Rozmowy z mordercą / Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (doc. series)

Cast & Crew

director Joe Berlinger
screenplay Michael Werwie
cinematography Brandon Trost
editing Josh Schaeffer
music Marco Beltrami, Dennis Smith
cast Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, Dylan Baker, James Hetfield
producer Joe Berlinger, Nicolas Chartier, Michael Costigan, Ara Keshishian, Michael Simkin
production COTA Films, Ninjas Runnin' Wild Productions, Voltage Pictures
Polish distributor Best Film
language English
coloration colour
stay in touch
festival partners