There was a mordant message lurking in entertainment this year: Sex and death make a fine couple.
In The Net, Jeremy Northam, the suave assassin sent to dispatch Sandra Bullock, sleeps with her before getting down to work. Bad move. She plays hard to get after that; he falls to his death.
Black-widow bombshells fared better. As Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye, Famke Janssen got to lie down on the job, wrapping killer legs around her prey to provide an ecstatic release—from life. (If things don’t go well for Janssen, look for her on the pro-wrestling circuit as ThighMistress.) Then there was Natasha Henstridge’s Sil, the let’s-get-naked-now seductress in Species. Half alien, all mannequin, this maiden French-kissed her mates to death, a touchingly desperate act that speaks volumes about the lonely inner praying mantis in all of us who have biological clocks.
Not quite so nuanced was Seven’s ”lust” sequence, in which a hooker gets offed when her john dons a deadly dildo, or the X-Files episode that had some unlikely lonelyhearts getting together—full-sized gals looking for love and the poetry scholar whose only desire is to suck the fat from them in no time flat. Apparently a metabolic problem.
There was no escaping romantic disaster on the radio dial, either. In the Toadies’ hit ”Possum Kingdom (Do You Wanna Die),” lead singer Todd Lewis yearns to stroll with a woman, then kill her. Who’s he singing about? Some say Edie Brickell, a.k.a. Mrs. Paul Simon. So does that make it 51 ways to leave your lover?