Very soon here we will finally be able to lay our eyes on director Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. If you may have forgotten, this is the movie which stars (of all people) Zac Efron (Baywatch, HighSchool Musical) as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019, and is scheduled to be released in theaters and on Netflix sometime later this year. And today we have word via the MPAA that the movie has been slapped with an R-rating for “disturbing/violent content, some sexuality, nudity, and language.”
This story of Ted Bundy is shown from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Mirror Mirror actress Lily Collins, who struggled to accept the reality of her boyfriend’s nature for years.
As strange as it was when we first heard that Efron was going to be playing Bundy, more and more over time the casting decision has made more and more sense. After all, it can’t be denied that Zac Efron can look a hell of a lot like Bundy. So that’s one thing. And on top of that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile currently holds a divisive 64% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile often transcends its narrative limitations through sheer force of Zac Efron’s compulsively watchable performance.”
Related: Jim Parsons Joins Zac Efron in Ted Bundy Biopic, New Photos Revealed
Meanwhile, I’m also a big fan of director Joe Berlinger who is best known for helming such killer documentaries as Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. But let’s not forget that the man was also behind the 2000 sequel to Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s found footage classic The Blair Witch Project, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. But I dig Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 for what it is so not even that is working against the man at this point.
Along with Zac Efron as Ted Bundy and Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kloepfer, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile also stars John Malkovich as Edward Cowart, Jim Parsons as Larry Simpson, Jeffrey Donovan as John O’Connell, and Grace Victoria Cox as Carol Daronch. They are joined by Kaya Scodelario as Carole Ann Boone, Haley Joel Osment as Jerry Thompson, Dylan Baker as David Yocom, Terry Kinney as Det. Mike Fisher, James Hetfield (yes, Metallica’s leading man) as Officer Bob Hayward, Angela Sarafyan as Joanna, and Brian Geraghty as Dan Dowd.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is directed by Berlinger from a screenplay written by Michael Werwie. Jason Barrett, Nicolas Chartier, Michael Costigan, Ara Keshishian, and Michael Simkin produce. Marco Beltrami provides the film’s music along with Dennis Smith, Brandon Trost is the cinematographer, and Josh Schaeffer edits. The movie comes to us via COTA Films, Voltage Pictures, and Ninjas Runnin’ Wild Productions and will be distributed by Netflix sometime later this year. This rating update comes to us via Film Ratings.