There’s something quite fascinating to me about anyone who would take the life of human being…let alone dozens or hundreds. Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious serial killers to exist and what was worse is that he looked like the ‘boy next door.’ But, this man had an inner rage and mental incapacity for empathy…especially towards young women.
No Man of God hops right out of the gate with numerous news broadcasts announcing that Bundy is about to be executed. It’s 1984 and President Ronald Reagan has announced the establishment of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, creating the first five full-time positions for FBI profiles. Special Agent Bill Hagmaier was selected as one of those five and it is the FBI transcripts, recording and the recollections of Bill Hagmaier are the vantage point from which this story is told.
Directed by Amber Sealey, her use cinematic imagery is quite intriguing ranging from extreme close-ups of hair standing up on arms, to women pulling up stockings in rapid succession intercut between interviews with the subject. Elijah Wood (Bill) and Luke Kirby (Ted) are fantastic as the build the intense and complicated relationship that formed during Bundy’s final years on death row. The cat and mouse taunting dialogue is riveting and could only be written from a female gaze to give it that feeling of sitting on the edge to see who gets to checkmate first. My favorite scene is right before Ted is executed, he describes in graphic detail killing a victim with a tire iron all the time while describing how gorgeous she is and how turned on he is. Another cat and mouse convo that is creepy and disturbing is as he graphically gives details of violating her and then audibly has an orgasm. Witnessing Wood’s reaction to this news and how distressed his becomes as he becomes one with Ted during the course of this story is riveting to watch for sure.
Luke Kirby eerily and strongly resembles the real thing to the point you literally forget you are watching a performance. His performance coupled with the coolness of Wood almost reminds you of the brilliance displayed between Oscar winners Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs.” Kirby nails the cockiness, insecurity and calculating energy of Bundy, while Wood matches him beat for beat. Produced by RJLE films, No Man of God is wild ride, but it is worth it just to witness two actors at the top of their game going full throttle at any all costs.