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The sexiest bad girls in the movies

May 27, 2009 10:55 IST

Image: Drew Barrymore
Raja Sen

Thank the French for the phrase. 'Femme Fatale' is a direct translation of 'deadly woman', but only in Francaise does it sound so much more intoxicating, like a black widow spider luring in its prey.

The big screen has seen its share of startlingly sexy bad girls, girls who routinely put the heroine to shame and murderesses who make even being shot in the chest appear relatively pleasurable.

Here, then, are ten girls we'd gladly take the kiss of death from:

10. Drew Barrymore as Ivy -- Poison Ivy

Many, many years before Mena Suvari lay in a bathtub full of rose petals in what can only be construed as a pretty lame fantasy, Drew turned on the heat in her sexiest on-screen avatar to date as the scorching hot student who totally rocked an oversize white shirt. We can't really blame Tom Skerritt for gaping.

Nicole Kidman at Suzanne Stone -- To Die For

Image: Nicole Kidman

Gus Van Sant's dark dramedy cast Kidman as a ruthlessly ambitious woman focussing all her considerable wiles on wanting to become a famous newswoman.

Sure, there's a significant amount Kidman's character borrowed from Basic Instinct's Sharon Stone (including the actress' last name) but Kidman outsexied Stone by far. We'd totally let her read us the weather before leaving us out in the cold.

Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium -- From Dusk Till Dawn

Image: Salma Hayek

It seems a little unfair to brand Hayek's Pandemonium a bad girl. Sure, she's a vampire and she bites Quentin Tarantino, bleeding him to death.

But hot damn if that matters after you've seen her cavort with a snake on stage to Tito and Tarantula's After Dark. We'd hand her our necks anytime after she lets us sip tequila off her toes. Ahh.

Elizabeth Hurley as The Devil -- Bedazzled

Image: Elizabeth Hurley

This modern day reworking of the classic Peter Cook and Dudley Moore comedy was a complete dud, especially with a hapless Brendan Fraser in the lead, but much as we love Cook's Devil, there were a couple of things about Hurley's version that stood out.

Especially when she dressed up as a naughty schoolgirl. Grrrowl. Satan has never looked sexier.

Angelina Jolie as Fox -- Wanted

Image: Angelina Jolie

Timur Bekmambetov's visually mindblowing take on Mark Millar's striking comic book miniseries had stunts and VFX to die for, but nothing quite compared to Angelina Jolie -- at her sexiest ever --strutting around like she owned our souls.

Be it behind the wheel of a soon-to-be-trashed sportscar or smashing jaw, her Fox had it covered -- except in one now-iconic moment when she struts out of her bath. Brad Pitt, we hate you.

Rosario Dawson as Gail -- Sin City

Image: Rosario Dawson

Robert Rodriguez likes his women dripping with heat, and while he already deservedly made the list with Hayek in FDTD, he offered us a whole plethora of provocation in his insane noir adaptation of Frank Miller's best work.

And while Jessica Alba was perfectly cast as a stripper and Brittany Murphy looked her hottest, it's impossible to get over Rosario Dawson's magnificent mouth.

Sure she led a gang of violent hookers with elan, but right now all we're thinking about is that tongue. Mmm.

Juliette Lewis as Mallory Knox -- Natural Born Killers

Image: Juliette Lewis

In the very first scene of Oliver Stone's fascinating but heavily flawed cult hit, Lewis is grooving to the jukebox. A redneck dances with her, and she appears to enjoy his affections -- moments before she smashes his beer bottle from his mouth and beats him up.

Mallory's a firecracker alright, one that unpredictably oscillates between violently wonderful lovemaking to complete manslaughter, and its this volatility -- and that livid vocabulary -- that makes us want her, albeit fatally.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman -- Batman Returns

Image: Michelle Pfeiffer

In Tim Burton's unforgivably campy take on the caped crusader -- a version only Marvel fans can truly enjoy, as it ridicules Batman more than ever -- all is made suddenly blissful by Pfeiffer's Selina Kyle randomly pouring herself into a mesmerising cocktail of leather and latex.

Her catwoman is sexier than anything the comics tossed up, and when she threatens The Penguin by popping a bird in her mouth, you're so damned jealous of the bird. And later, of her catsuit, as she sits back and licks herself.

Meow never, ever, sounded sexier.

Darryl Hannah as Elle Driver -- Kill Bill

Image: Darryl Hannah

They call her California Mountain Snake, and boy does she make a splash. Her first shot in Quentin Tarantino's gorgeous Kill Bill films involves her in a white trenchcoat with felt-pen drawn buttons as she sashays down a hospital corridor whistling Twisted Nerve.

She's a ruthless assassin who can weild a pretty nifty samurai sword -- not to mention high, high heeled boots -- and doesn't hesitate in kicking back with a cigarette as she sees a man writhe to death by snakebite.

And then there's that killer eyepatch, ooh.

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore -- Goldfinger

Image: Honor Blackman

What, you didn't think a Bondgirl would make it to this list? And here's the best and baddest of them all, one who is -- at least initially -- immune to Sean Connery's considerable charms.

The very name is enough to catapult her into legend, but Blackman's Pussy is worth so much more. She deftly chops Blond down to size with Judo, is a damned good pilot, and runs a group of women pilots named Pussy Galore's Flying Circus -- possibly inspiring Monty Python a couple of years later.

Sassy, sexy and mainstream cinema's most memorably captivating lesbian, Pussy Galore is something else.