STUDIO: Lions Gate
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
Parker Lewis Can’t Not Kill a Bunch of Ladies
Cast: Corin Nemec, Jen Nikolaisen, Kane Hodder
Director: Michael Feifer
From 1974 to 1978, Ted Bundy, a slick, handsome, charismatic young Republican from Vermont, killed an estimated 35 women. During this period, he was apprehended three times, escaped from jail twice, represented himself in court and received verbal laurels from the judge, tricked his ex-girlfriend into accepting a prank marriage proposal, humped a corpse, and helped manage a gubernatorial campaign.
In other words, it’s Catch Me if you Can, but with more necrophilia.
Ted Bundy’s most egregious crimes weren’t those of passion, but of fashion.
If you’re peeping down on Earth from the afterlife and happen to catch someone making a movie about you, it’s probably a really rewarding moment. If, however, you notice that the title of the film is simply YOUR NAME in dark red caps, chances are good that you killed a bunch of folks while you were alive, and that the movie is just a cheap and exploitative cash-in. Look on the bright side: at least you won’t have to worry about amateur filmmakers sullying your good name.
Bundy, or Bundy: A Legacy of Evil (which might be the most pointless title appendage since The Return of Jack Deth – of course Jack Deth returned! He’s on the frigging VHS cover!), is another addition to the endless sequence of name-titled movies about murderers, like Ed Gein, Dahmer, Gacy, B.T.K., Albert Fish, and so forth. These movies are easily distinguishable from similarly named movies like Zodiac in that they’re cheap, shitty horror films from filmmakers without any better ideas. Unsurprisingly, Bundy is not an exception. It’s a bad adaptation of the Ted Bundy Wikipedia entry.
It feels a little perverse watching Parker Lewis Can’t Lose‘s Corin Nemec beating women with bats and tire irons, so there might be some irony value for people with bad taste and a fondness for ’90s television. There’s not much here worth recommending outside of that. Nemec, who’s pushing 40 now, looks silly as a high-school-aged Ted Bundy. Nemec could grate Parmesan cheese with his numerous, creepy, and rigid cheek folds, and looks ridiculous leaning up against a locker in the school hallway. There’s nothing wrong with haggard, foldy faces – see McHattie, Stephen – but on a former teen heartthrob playing a high school kid in a serial killer movie, they’re an unwelcome asset. Somebody slap some spirit gum on this motherfuck!
Beginning with a defeated Ted Bundy looking back on his unhappy life from death row as he tries to negotiate an appeal, Bundy‘s three acts follow young (weird but innocent) Bundy, road trip (murderous) Bundy, and incarcerated (litigious) Bundy. The events unfold chronologically from there. Kane Hodder lands top billing alongside Nemec, but only appears in a handful of scenes. The bulk of the film features Nemec brutalizing women, acting sneaky, or bothering his girlfriend Stephanie (Jen Nikolaisen).
Tonally, Bundy is a disaster. While a lot of it looks like a bad television melodrama punctuated by semi-gruesome torture snuff, there are several scenes – most notably Bundy’s interactions with his girlfriend – that have the look and feel of a furniture warehouse commercial. The final courtroom act might have been cut from an entirely different and slightly more tolerable movie. Bundy‘s “smooth jazz and acoustic rhythms” score is nearly shitty enough to make the whole product come full circle and achieve greatness, but not quite.
Although the film contains plenty of blood and implied necrophilia, there’s nothing too edgy or extreme going on here. Deranged gorehounds are better off seeking an alternate route.
Corin Nemec’s big necrophilia scene. Imagine him whispergrunting “Nyeeah! Nyeeah!” over and over for the full effect.
Once the police finally catch up to Bundy and he’s allowed to defend himself in court, the movie almost turns itself around. Nemec seems far more comfortable yelling at witnesses in a courtroom than sneaking into bed with a corpse. The scenes leading up to his execution actually wring some pathos out of Bundy‘s monster, so it’s not an entirely lost cause. This goodwill comes too little, too late, because Bundy is disjointed, cheap, and unimaginative horror. Unless you’re some kind of serial killer movie completist weirdo, leave this one on the shelf.
Bundy‘s transfer looks a little washed out and suffers from some ugly grain, but the DD 3/2.1 track isn’t too bad. Also, that sure doesn’t look like Nemec’s face on the DVD cover. Looks more like Colm Feore.
He finally lost.