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Film / Ted Bundy

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Ted Bundy is a 2002 film about the notorious American serial killer, who rampaged across the country from Washington to Florida from 1974 to 1978. Michael Reilly Burke plays Bundy, and Boti Bliss plays his girlfriend Lee. Features an insanely Anvilicious ending.

This film contains examples of:

  • The '70s: The time span of the film.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A rather bizarre example, with Ted Bundy's execution being treated as a tragic event despite all his actions up to that point earning him no sympathy whatsoever.
  • Anachronism Stew: The practice of stuffing the executed with cotton was discontinued before Bundy was executed, and would be pointless if he was also forced to wear a diaper anyway (unless the real purpose was to humiliate him).
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Numerous people are shown Waving Signs Around which celebrate the impending execution of Bundy. Obviously Truth in Television as the movie uses actual real life footage.
  • Artistic License – History: In keeping with popular belief the executioner was a woman, the movie shows a woman with long, dark hair removing her hood at the conclusion of the execution. While a spokesman for then Governor Bob Martinez said it might have been a woman the actual identity of the executioner is still a closely guarded secret, with the identity known only to the head of the Florida prison system.
  • Asshole Victim: Bundy is humiliated and executed at the end of the film.
  • Ass Shove: Before his execution, the officers fill Bundy's rectum with cotton so he won't leave a nasty surprise when he is electrocuted.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ted Bundy is a psychotic Serial Killer who is also a necrophiliac and rapist.
  • Biopic: Of Ted Bundy's life.
  • Bad Samaritan: Bundy picks up female hitchhikers to rape and murder them.
  • Bondage Is Bad: One of Lee's first clues that something is wrong with her boyfriend Ted Bundy is when he ties her up so he can have very forceful sex with her. She indulges his request but doesn't enjoy it, which turns him off as well.
  • Consummate Liar: Bundy lies constantly. When Lee finds some cuffs in his car, he says he had never seen them before.
  • Domestic Abuser: Bundy forces Lee into rough sex and bondage, makes her play dead while he insults her (just like he does to his victims) and throws her off a pier for no reason. Even his first conversation with her shows he is rather manipulative and neglectful, as he hasn't answered her calls in four days (most likely because he was busy killing people) and just says he was too busy studying.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: After being strapped into the electric chair, Ted is asked if he has any last words, and meekly stammers, "Tell my family I love them. Tell them..."
  • "Eureka!" Moment: The scene where Lee visits Ted in prison, he flashes a totally inappropriate smirk, and she realizes in an instant that he's guilty.
  • Evil Gloating: Ted's has a gloating smirk on his face when Lee visits him in prison.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Bundy is quite charming and well spoken for a Sociopathic Serial Killer.
  • Forced to Watch: Bundy handcuffs a victim in a shack and forces her to watch while he rapes and kills another woman before also killing her.
  • Freakier Than Fiction: Think the girl who walked on the previous Bundy victim had it bad? In reality, that body was not recent but had been there for a month, and had also been decapitated.
  • Good-Times Montage: Dramatic Irony version. The "good times" in question is Bundy's second crime spree through Idaho, Utah, and Colorado.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: A bizarre case is the girl that replaces Denise Naslund. She constantly berates her boyfriend and even hits him once before going to the restrooms, where she is approached by Ted and is instantly smitten by his looks. In reality, Naslund just woke up from a nap and went to the restrooms without talking to her friends.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Lee, despite being a Nice Girl who even points out at one point she forgave Ted for cheating on her multiple times, doesn't suspect anything till he is actually arrested, and even then falls for his "I'm innocent" act a few scenes later despite it being total bullshit.
  • Humiliation Conga: Before Bundy is executed, his head is shaven, his rectum is filled with cotton, and he is forced to wear a diaper.
  • I Love the Dead: Truth in Television, right down to the part where Bundy keeps severed heads in his apartment.
  • Impairment Shot: One of the two women Bundy abducts at the lake wakes up to see him assaulting the other one. This too, may be a case of Truth in Television—when Bundy confessed to this double murder, he claimed that one was Forced to Watch as the other was murdered, though he later recanted this statement.
  • Important Haircut: Bundy's Humiliation Conga before his execution begins with him having his head forcefully shaven to better accommodate the electric chair.
  • Karmic Death: Bundy is humiliated, raped, bloodied, and given a painful death at the hands of a woman police officer.
  • Kick the Dog: Ted pushes Lee into a lake when they have a fight, and, when she is understandably mad about it, claims it was just a joke. He also pressures her into doing sex acts she's uncomfortable with, and, while she complies, its obvious she's miserable the whole time, not that he gives a shit.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Well, Ted is obviously a brutal Serial Rapist on the side, but this trope is especially apparent when he ties up his girlfriend Lee for a rough bout of bondage sex, which she clearly doesn't enjoy.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bundy prevents Tina (Carol DaRonch) from jumping off the car and places a cuff on her hand, but does not secure the other cuff before driving the car to a stop. This allows Tina to get out with no danger and stop another car, and the cuff makes sure that everyone will believe her about the abduction.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Only Bundy himself retains his own name and likeness.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Before his execution on the electric chair, Ted's rectum is stuffed with cotton balls by the guards and he's fitted with an adult diaper so they won't have to clean up a mess afterwards.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Bundy lures two women by pretending to have a broken arm and asking for help loading a boat.
  • Off with His Head!: Bundy decapitates many of his victims postmortem and takes their heads elsewhere.
  • P.O.V. Cam: From Ted's perspective as he drives around in his Volkswagen looking for victims.
  • The Peeping Tom: At one point Ted follows a woman home and watches her undress in front of a window while he masturbates. A revolted neighbor throws a bucket of water on him.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Ted flashes one when Lee visits him in prison. This is what gives him away to her that he's guilty.
  • Right Through His Pants: Bundy rapes one of the victims at Lake Sammamish with his pants on, and several of his victims are shown with their shorts or underwear still on after he has raped them.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The executioner has a face mask. When the work is done, she reveals herself to be a woman.
  • Serial Killer: Bundy, of course.
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: An example, the police beat Ted when they arrest him. Uncle Bob and the policemen who prepare Bundy before the execution, forcefully shave his head and fill his butt. We can assume that they enjoyed it a lot towards a psycho like Ted.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: As he lies next to a dead body.
  • Stock Footage: Shots of the real Ted appearing in court, as well as real news coverage from murder sites.
  • The Sociopath: Guess who. Ted is largely able to lure in so many victims because of his superficial charm. It doesn't always work though; Lee realizes that Ted is guilty of the crimes he's accused of when he flashes an inappropriate smile during her visit.
  • Travel Montage: A pretty sick one in which Bundy's murder tours of Utah and Colorado are illustrated on a map, along with various corpses getting tossed into the woods.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Starts out broadly accurate. Gets less so as the movie goes along, with a rather fanciful portrayal of the later murders and Bundy's arrest and execution.
  • Villain Protagonist: The film centers around Bundy and his killings sprees.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Bundy usually fakes a disability to gain his victims trust and lures them to secluded places to kill them.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: One of Bundy's go-to tactics: put on a fake sling or cast, and appeal to a young woman to help him carry something. In Real Life he also sometimes impersonated a police officer.