Document Type

Honors Thesis


The appearance of actors Zac Efron and Ross Lynch, known for their roles as teenagers on popular Disney Channel productions, as serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer in the films Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile and My Friend Dahmer has raised questions about the effects of these portrayals on the Generation Z demographic. How does having these former Disney Channel actors portray these serial killers affect the way that Generation Z views Bundy and Dahmer? Through examining movie reviews by both professional critics and audience members, as well as social media posts on websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Tiktok, this thesis attempts to gain an insight into how and why these killers have become such a popular topic of conversation in society today, particularly among Generation Z. Furthermore, this thesis suggests that further research on these media portrayals of serial killers as well as inaccurate depictions of mental illness across many television series and movies is necessary to explain how the constant bombardment of serial killer media affects society as a whole.



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