Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (Berlinger 2019)

Serial killer? I hardly know her!

Gallows humor aside, this episode beings a new mini-series on serial killer horror films. And wow, what a failure of a film! This episode ends up being mostly a discussion of how this film failed where other films succeeded. An absolutely unnecessary additional film about Ted Bundy that squandered a brilliant opportunity to offer an interesting new take. This would be terrible by itself, but the filmmakers did so at the further expense of the woman who survived the emotional manipulation and abuse of Bundy for years. Elizabeth Kendall wrote a memoir to challenge and reclaim her life in response to her erasure from the cultural media obsession and glamorization of this serial killer. Hers is a unique and fascinating contribution to considering the serial killer phenomena of America. These filmmakers took that source material … and erased her from it. A truly vile film.

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (Berlinger 2019) – please watch the film before listening!
Zodiac (Fincher 2007)
The House that Jack Built (von Trier 2018)
Audition (Miiki 1999)

TOPIC INDEX – TOPIC INDEX – Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (Berlinger 2019) (times are approximate) 

0:30 – Introductions
2:00 – a mini-series on serial killers
3:20 – spoilers
5:40 – Movie discussion begins
8:00 – overall impressions
14:30 – comparison to Midsommar
17:00 – comparison to Tucker and Dale vs Evil (Craig 2010)
21:00 – co-opting Liz’s story
28:30 – death penalty
31:30 – nuance regarding verisimilitude
36:00 – violence to commentary ratio
40:00 – problematic uncertainty
45:00 – things we didn’t see that we should have seen
54:00 – compared to Audition
59:00 – compared to Zodiac
1:03:00 – compared to Henry and hegemonic masculinity
1:07:30 – courtroom
1:09:00 – how would we improve the film
1:13:45 – compared to The House that Jack Built
1:16:00 – Grading the film using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility
1:19:15 – compared to Natural Born Killers

Related Episodes
The House That Jack Built (von Trier 2018)
Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer (McNaughton 1986)
Funny Games (Haneke 1997)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 89

horror, podcast, sociology, empathy, punishment, gender, rape, nuance, gray area, realistic argument, Dexter, Ted Bundy, serial killer, glamorizing violence, Zodiac, Henry, The House That Jack Built, he’ll do, cooptation, erasure, women, victims, hegemonic masculinity, media, courtroom, death penalty, courtroom,