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Why The New Ted Bundy Movies Have Twitter Seeing Red

Another day, another movie about Ted Bundy is coming out. The infamous serial killer, who brutally raped and murdered at least 30 women throughout the 1970s (via Biography), has been the subject of over a dozen films and documentary television specials since the 1980s.

The first to depict Bundy on screen was the 1986 television film, "The Deliberate Stranger," in which a young "NCIS" star Mark Harmon portrayed the serial killer. In 2002, the first theatrical film about Bundy, titled "Ted Bundy," was released, with Michael Reilly Burke as Bundy. Film adaptations about the killer and his crimes have been made sporadically since, with actors such as Billy Campbell and James Marsters joining the ranks of those who have depicted the killer. More recently, in 2019, Zac Efron took on the role for the Netflix film, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile." That same year, Netflix also released a documentary miniseries titled "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes." Amazon Prime joined the Bundy conversation a year later with their documentary series, "Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer."

Despite the long list of already existing films, another upcoming movie about Bundy, titled "American Boogeyman," has just released its trailer and will be released to theaters on August 16, 2021. This time, "One Tree Hill" alum Chad Michael Murray is depicting Bundy on screen. "American Boogeyman" will become the second film about Bundy just this year, following "No Man of God" starring Luke Kirby, which came out in June this year.

The release of the "American Boogeyman" trailer sparked somewhat of an outcry on Twitter of unhappy moviegoers — here's why.

Twitter users say the string of Bundy movies romanticizes his crimes

The problem, it seems, isn't necessarily the trailer itself, but a deeper issue — that is, many Twitter users are not happy to be seeing yet another film depicting Bundy and his horrific actions, particularly considering it's the second Bundy film this year.

Firstly, users are pointing out how unnecessarily frequent these films seem to be coming out, such as @evenrosemary who wrote, "I just want to know who keeps waking up thinking we need another Ted Bundy documentary/movie." 

Adding on to that, @astroxmar made a solid point, writing, "all ted bundy wanted was attention and it pisses me off that attention is exactly what we've given him for years."

All in all, users feel that the slew of film adaptations bring too much attention to the serial killer and often glamorize his actions in the process. User @BethuneTheory put it bluntly, writing, "Seriously, the Ted Bundy films and tv shows need to stop. There's no need to spend millions of dollars to tell the watered down story of a child molesting rapist who brutally massacred women." Many have also pointed out Hollywood's habit of casting "heartthrob" actors in the role, such as Zac Efron and now Chad Michael Murray, which further romanticizes his appeal to audiences. On this point, user @1daveuknow wrote, "We do not need another movie mythologizing Ted Bundy as a handsome evil genius."

However, the issues with the seemingly nonstop Ted Bundy movies doesn't end there.

All the focus on Ted Bundy minimizes the pain and suffering he caused

Ted Bundy was a serial killer. And while there have been numerous films, books, and TV shows about serial killers — both of the real-life and the fictional varieties — it has become clear by now that there's a serious problem with how often popular culture turns them into big names, while ignoring their victims, particularly in regard to Hollywood films.

On Twitter, following the trailer drop, users have also been arguing that these string of films minimize the experience of Bundy's victims, all of whom were brutally assaulted before being murdered, while ignoring the impact that these films may have on surviving loved ones. User @herahsokas posted a compilation photo of the women Bundy murdered and wrote, "these were real girls and women [whose] lives were taken by a vile man but sure, keep making these ted bundy movies and forcing these victims families and friends to relive the trauma of what happened to their loved ones."

In agreement, @laurenmarie87, prompted a request to Hollywood, writing, "For every Ted Bundy movie Hollywood wants to shove down our throats they should be required to make a movie for each of the women he murdered. Their lives have been, and will always be, more important than his."