No Man of God is the latest in a long line of movies about serial killer Ted Bundy. Just two years earlier, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron offered a more comprehensive view of his life. The movie we’re going to be talking about today focuses on his relationship with Bill Hagmaier. Bill is an FBI agent working with their Behavior Science Unit trying to figure out how these serial killers think. He became one of the best profilers in the world, interviewing dozens of criminals.
Featuring an excellent script, based on Bill’s notes, tapes, and other documents, No Man of God offers a unique view into the mind of a killer. If you like these sorts of things, you will love this one. Luke Kirby was simply phenomenal as Ted Bundy. He not only looks like him but he also gave one hell of a performance. The same goes for Elijah Wood. This is a slow-burning drama focused on psychology so don’t expect any action. However, expect a lot of thought-provoking scenes with valuable insights.
It also features excellent camerawork and cinematography. Especially when you consider that most of the movie is just two guys talking in a room. It takes a lot of skill and effort to make these scenes feel intriguing and not dull. Granted, things get a bit messy towards the end. No Man of God doesn’t have a theme or a narrative apart from telling the story from Bill’s perspective. The potency of the story drives certain expectations that are ultimately not met.
It is the year of our lord Satan 1985 and young FBI agent Bill Hagmaier takes on a task no one wants. He’s working with the FBI’s behavioral unit and his job is to get an interview with the infamous Ted Bundy. A man who hates the entire FBI and doesn’t want to talk to anyone. However, after Bill writes him a letter, Bundy has a change of heart and thus the process begins.
If for nothing else, No Man of God is worth watching purely for Luke Kirby’s performance. I also think this is the best Bundy we’ve seen on the big screen. Moreover, this makes the movie much more immersive. You can also go meta and think about whether Bundy actually revealed anything to Bill in their conversations. Or he simply used him and his narrative to justify his actions and maybe get off the death row. I think we’ll never know.
However, it’s fascinating to think that this actually happened. I’m still reeling from the fact that one of the best shows about this topic, Mindhunter was canceled. So, if you’re looking for more of the same, do check it out. And finally, if you’re looking for movies with a similar format take a look at True Story starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.
Director: Amber Sealey
Writer: Kit Lesser
Cast: Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Aleksa Palladino, Robert Patrick, W. Earl Brown, Doug Cox
Fun Facts: Writer C. Robert Cargill explains that he wanted to demystify Ted Bundy, as all the other movies tried to make him into this mythical creature.