What about Freddy Krueger, from Wes Craven's long-running series of movies; though try to think of the first few movies where Freddy is dark and menacing and not prone to stand-up comedy. This one is a little harder to defend because he really doesn't have a "good" side. He is more an out and out killer, and even worse, a pedophilic murderer (remember Matchbox's ill-conceived Freddy Kruger talking doll for kids?). His hideously burned body and razor-glove belies the corruption buried deep within him. So for all these points against him, why do we still like him? Why do we have this "love to hate" attitude about Freddy?
Perhaps it is the same reason the girls are often drawn to "bad boys;" they are darkly dangerous, powerful in their recklessness, and yet we want to possess them, somehow tame them under our control. Just think of all the Byronic heroes from your romance fiction (from Gothic to regency to contemporary they abound). With all their dangerous power, they are flawed and have secrets, yet we are still drawn to them. Perhaps the danger part is appealing. Maybe it even goes back to the basics of survival: the strong survive so we are drawn to the powerful figures that would most likely survive in a hostile world. Maybe we even see something mirrored in them that we would like to reflect in ourselves, making us as free as they are, letting our darker sides and instincts all hang out without a care or worry.
From the world of the pulp novel our heroines more often than not are attracted to the dark, foreboding males. These characters are usually temperamental, anti-social, have a lack of morals, prone to fits of rage or jealousy, and are often sarcastic and gruff. They will often annoy the heroine, lie to her, make fun of her, physically hurt her or even force themselves on her. Yet she is still drawn to them when all logic says she should be repelled. What is it that makes us go weak in our knees over the bad boys?
In my humble opinion, which will no doubt set the feminist's teeth on edge, it's all about the power, baby. If you put a typical Byronic hero or anti-hero with one of those good guys, the good guy is going to lose. He's going to get his ass kicked. Sometimes in this world to survive you have to lie, cheat, steal, and the anti-hero will have no problem doing that. The good guy will assess the morality and weigh the pros and cons while our dark hero is already through the door.