‘Black Mass’ Review: A Fascinating Take On Serial Killers
Ted Bundy is one of the most prolific serial killers, known on a global scale for his ability to charm the ladies and in certain circumstances, men as well. We’ve all seen countless films, made-for-tv movies, streaming series, and what not, but director Devanny Pinn has put together a unique interpretation of the events that took place on January 14, 1978, in Tallahassee, Fl.
After Bundy escaped his incarceration in Colorado, he headed east, settling in Florida for a short time and trying to control his inner demons from rearing their ugly heads once again. In Black Mass, Pinn was careful to show a “Patrick Bateman” profile of a narcissistic stalker, intent on living out his psycho-sexual fantasies upon unsuspecting young females through charismatic appeal. And when such strategies failed to launch his rage on chosen targets, his tantrums escalated.
This would lead to Bundy’s infamous (and final) attack on several sleeping co-eds in a sorority house at Florida State University which resulted in unspeakable acts of violence.
Black Mass is “a day in the life” of one of the most vicious and evil killers in North America. The mindset of Andrew Sykes’ Bundy is pulled together through intensifying accumulation of his struggles to maintain his innocence, but eventually succumbing to his brutal ways. While we are only granted side views and certain angles, it’s metaphoric to show his thoughts revealed through gestures, magnetic conversations, and eventually, when he loses control. Without facial recognition, it’s a great example of bringing a faceless tormentor to life, instilling fear by mere presence and removing the attractive qualities he was known for in real life.
So, what REALLY happened in the sorority house that fateful night? Nothing short of malicious cruelty was performed with a heavy wooden club from what we’re shown. Through the frenzied beatings and rape of several sorority sisters, two were left with permanent damage and two lost their lives to this monster. This film is clearly a tribute to those who encountered the terror of Ted Bundy.
Black Mass brings us the Bundy we already knew, but the brutality we were unsure about. The climatic moment when he finally enters the house creates a knot in your stomach that tightens with each blow to the head of Bundy’s first victim. And it only grows worse. It’s unconscionable, unbelievable, and incredibly unsettling to watch. But, it’s a necessity to understanding pure evil. And it’s fully captured superbly in Black Mass.
While the violent is deeply upsetting, Black Mass superbly captures the pure evil of Ted Bundy while paying tribute to his victims.