“Here she comes. You better watch your step. She’s going to break your heart in two—it’s true. It’s not hard to realize, just look into her false colored eyes. She’ll build you up to just put you down; what a clown! ‘Cause everybody knows—she’s a femme fatale. She does the things she please. She’s just a little tease.” – The Velvet Underground, “Femme Fatale”
Lou Reed may not have invented the femme fatale, the archetype of a woman who uses her sex appeal and devious creativity to manipulate and often murder men, but he did make the definitive statement on this type of woman. The femme fatale came to prominence in cinema during the film noirs of the 1940’s, but the stock character has branched out into all forms of entertainment and media.
Some men might shy away from these women. They are all strong, powerful and confident, ambitious and prepared to take the world by their hands, and some men may be intimidated by their tenacity, not to mention the way they’ve manipulated others in the past. But each of these women have tangible qualities that would lead most men to at least try and go out on a few dates with her before she, you know, turned around and murdered him.
10. Xenia Onatopp – GoldenEye
By our count James Bond has dealt with something like five thousand femme fatales. Bond handled those women and countless others with the suave deftness he’s known for, but some guys would probably be a little bit flustered if Pussy Galore even told us her name. But for as much as guys like Pussy, Xenia Onatopp is the girl we think they’d risk their lives for. Sure, the Russian spy actually murders guys during sex, and seems to hugely get off on it…but some dudes love pain, and others get off on the risk, and those kinds of guys would ask Xenia to go on a date in a heartbeat. As Bond pointed out, “she always did enjoy a good squeeze,” and for some guys, that’s all they need.
9. Jennifer Clark – Jennifer’s Body
The entire premise of Jennifer’s Body is that Megan Fox is extremely hot, even as her own face rips apart and devours people. A demonic spirit engulfed her body after a sacrifice gone wrong, and all right, most guys probably didn’t actually bother watching the universally panned movie, but it’s Megan Fox. She runs the gamut of high school cliches in the film, dating geeks, goths and jocks alike, so most dudes probably have a chance with her, too. Of course, they’ll get murdered in the end. But again, most guys won’t really care. It’s Megan Fox.
8. Mystique – X-Men
Mystique’s at a slight disadvantage under the other women on this list, in that her natural state is blue and scaly. However, she has a massive advantage over the women on this list, too, in that she’s a shapeshifter and can take any form she wants. She has one of the higher kill counts on this list, but those were mostly mutant related, and if we were to date her we’d stay out of that arena altogether. Mystique might be a stone cold killer when facing off against X-Men, but she has to have some quiet, relaxing times, right? We’ll just be waiting for our girl at home, dying for her to slip into something a little more comfortable when she’s done helping Magneto.
7. Katherine Pierce – The Vampire Diaries
Katherine is over 500 years old, and has killed countless men and women through her centuries of life. She’s also turned quite a few men into vampires. But hey, at least a few of those guys turned into vampires willingly, because they wanted to be with Katherine forever, and we kinda get it. Sure, it didn’t work out, because vampires never do what they say they will. But Katherine never seems motivated by hatred, her motivation is always to keep herself alive, and although that regularly results in murder, we can look past it when she looks so good doing it. She has a whole lot of personal problems and people looking to kill her, but she’s also great at faking her own death and hiding, and if she needs someone to hide with, most would guys be glad to take the call.
6. Catherine Tramell – Basic Instinct
In today’s dating and sexual climate, it can often be hard to understand signals between sexes until you get to know each other quite well, but Tramell has never been the type of woman to have this problem. All she has to do to get any guy to give her a chance is cross her legs in front of him, and she’s worked her magic. Extremely financially successful, Tramell is a multi-millionaire heiress, and also a successful writer of mystery novels…novels based on actual crimes she committed. She uses both men and women for her amusement, having sex with and then killing countless people. And yet…we’d give her a shot. There’s just something about the way she crosses her legs. And re-crosses them.
5. Phyllis Dietrichson – Double Indemnity
Mary Astor defined the femme fatale in The Maltese Falcon, but it was only a few years later in Double Indemnity that Barbara Stanwyck would perform the archetype in an even more affecting way. Dietrichson’s angle would work on nearly any man: she tells insurance salesman Walter Neff she hates her husband and wants to leave him for Neff. The only hitch is that first, Neff needs to help get rid of the husband. Sure, most men would stop when they find out “get rid of” is very literal and permanent, but we respect the fact she’s at least willing to split the insurance money, as long as we go along with her plan to double down on it. It might be risky getting into a relationship with a woman openly plotting to kill her husband with strangers, but Dietrichson also has a penchant for the insurance salesman, and who better to take a risk than men who sell insurance?
4. Stephanie McMahon – WWE
The Billion Dollar Princess is the heir apparent to World Wrestling Entertainment, and has been an on-screen authority figure in WWE for nearly two decades. Granted, she’s married to 14-time WWE World Champion Triple H, but that relationship started when McMahon left another guy at the altar, so maybe we still have a chance. In fact, while most of the women on this list manipulate their significant others, McMahon uses her power and influence to help her husband keep winning world titles, a perk most guys wouldn’t exactly mind. Of course, she only helps her man out to keep the power in her family’s hands, but it feels worth it to become her main foot soldier in order to marry into an empire. Also, although she’s caused a great deal of violence, Stephanie’s never even been accused of actually killing a person, unlike most of the women on this list.
3. Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman
Honestly, any version of Catwoman could find herself with a few extra Valentine’s this year. (Especially Eartha Kitt. Meow.) As most fans know, Catwoman has become more of an antiheroine, but whether she was fighting alongside Batman or trying to rob a bank, most guys would patiently wait at home for a chance to play with this kitty. It might be tough having to deal with the fact she’s in love with the Bat, but their relationship is quite on-again off-again, and who wouldn’t be happy just to swoop in when Batman makes a mistake, and pet Selina until she feels better? She has also had her mind erased, which we don’t support, but it is a little bit of added safety in case the relationship doesn’t go well.
2. Kathie Moffat – Out of the Past
Kathie is an old school gangster, tricking PI’s and small time crooks into helping her achieve her goals and escape with the money all along. And most guys would love to help her out, just like Jeff Bailey tries a few times in the film, only to get double crossed. Then he’s murdered by Kathie when he refuses to take the blame for the other murders committed on her orders. While Moffat wasn’t film’s first femme fatale, the young and innocent looking Jane Greer brought a new sexuality to the role, shocking audiences in the 1940’s and even today, although now we’d be more concerned with her constant smoking. If we could get her to drop the habit, we’d definitely give her a chance, even though we’re positive it will end with at least one murder.
1. Faith Lehane – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Darla has unspeakable 16th Century venereal diseases, Drusilla is insane, and Glory likes her men short and scaly, but Faith is totally girlfriend material. Sure, she’s killed at least one human, and her only parental figure turned into a giant demon and attempted to eat an entire high school. But deep down, the dark contrast to Buffy’s brightness shows signs of a wounded animal, and by the time Faith starts appearing on Angel and begins her redemption, it’s hard to see any reason NOT to date the Slayer. Except, well, yeah…she did kill a human, and her moral compass is still a little spotty at times. But she also once said, “there’s something about Slaying that always makes me hungry and horny,” and with a mentality like that, not to mention the fact we can reasonably assume she’ll be doing some Slaying at least once in awhile, it’s easy for guys to overlook her murderous past.