Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well. I am very excited to share this post with you, because I will be reviewing another film for you. As promised, a couple months ago, I promised you that I would start a series of posts with film reviews, and I am happy to mention this is going to be my second one! This time, I find myself reviewing Bundy and the Green River Killer, which is based on a true story, taking place in Washington state in the 1980s.
Let’s start from the beginning though; there was a series of murders in Washington, brutal murders that involved women, sex workers and in vulnerable positions. Police are stamped, but have no suspect. Well, no suspect until they have to consult with Bob Keller, who works with the FBI. He tries to profile the Green River killer, with no success. Then, Ted Bundy shows up, writing a letter to detective David Richards who is the lead to the investigation. The incarcerated Ted Bundy gives them an insight into the murderous mind, which proves to be invaluable into catching another serial killer. And what a serial killer he was; Gary Ridgway, the Green River killer, proved to be one of the most prolific serial killers in history, with over 70 murders! That is actually a piece of history, so I am not regretful that I have disclosed it to you nor do I reveal any spoilers!
We see Ted Bundy in incarceration during the film, when interviewed by Bob and David, but we also see him right in the beginning of the film. Ted Bundy offers a unique perspective on the mind of a serial killer, when asked about why guys like him kill, by saying “There’s a certain aspect of possessiveness in the serial killer”. Possessiveness of the corpse, as well as the living body. I believe this is very important in the duration of the film, providing the viewer with a crash course if you like on Serial Killing 1.01.
But it’s not only a gritty story. We also see the human aspect of the detective David, with his family, his wife and teenage daughter and their relationship. He becomes invested in solving these murders – as it is natural in my view – so much that his wife worries about him, while he counters that if it was their daughter one of the victims, they would want justice too for her. Even Bundy in a way is humanised, by being portrayed as more than a serial killer. You can understand his motives and mindset, even within a prison and with him wearing the orange jumpsuit. Our killer, Gary Ridgway is on the other hand, as creepy as possible. He looks like a serial killer would look like, which could be considered a generalisation, but I didn’t mind it at all! His tone of voice, his appearance, his character makes him the serial killer that he is, so I would have to give my congratulations and respect to Jared Nelson, as he did great in this role!
Andrew Jones, the director and producer of Bundy and the Green River Killer, gives a faithful retelling of the story behind the film, even keeping the first names of the people involved. What really surprised me though was the actor chosen to portray Ted Bundy. Richard Mark looked exactly how Bundy would look appearance-wise! I don’t know how long it took them to decide about the casting, but with Richard Mark, it was spot on! Another factor of the film I liked was that they tried to keep with how the world would look like in the 1980s! From the desktop computer that looked like an IBM model to the sideburns, which were very popular around that time, the feel of the film was 1980s! However, there’s a slight problem with that logic, as that didn’t extend to the hairstyles and fashion of the ’80s. I was expecting to see more shoulder pads, more permed hair, more extravagance in style, which was missing from this film. I know that they focused on the psychological and human facet, but this could be the detail that would have made the difference!
Regarding the technical part of the film, I adored the photography and music! From close ups of the riverbed and forested areas where bodies were killed and subsequently found to the club music in the first seconds of the film, I think that both gave this nice feel to the film. Music didn’t detract from the film, rather enhanced it. I also liked that even though it was a dark film, that didn’t translate into dark scenes, as many films of this genre tend to do. Incredibly annoying in my mind, when you have to squint in order to understand what is happening on your screen!
If you are interested in understanding the story behind the “Silence of the Lambs”, I think it’s worth a watch in my opinion. You may like it or not, it may be your cup of tea or not, there is a considerable effort behind Bundy and the Green River Killer. In any case, it is a depiction of true events, so I will have to applaud Andrew Jones for that!
Till next time,