- Author's Saving Throw: Attempted and utterly failed by Roy Thomas, who claims in an introduction in the first novel that Sonja's vow to only make love to a man who could defeat her but otherwise be chaste is a "conscious, willed thing. It is Sonja who sets the standard, and who will mate with the man who can best her with sword or axe. No rape here, just a set of standards strange to our modern eyes." However, on page 73 of the same novel, we're quite graphically shown that this is not the case: Sonja didn't decide upon this vow, it was offered to her by a god as a way for her to pay it back for blessing her with supernatural skills in wielding weapons. And her only options were to either accept the god's terms, or to continue being raped and possibly wind up killed afterwards.
- Strangled by the Red String: In Star of Doom, Sonja is in love with a fellow mercenary, Daron (though it takes her a little while to admit it). Note, that's in love; we don't see them fall in love, which presumably happened during the month or so they knew each other before the book opens. Because of that, and because what we see of Daron makes it seem like he's not really Sonja's type, the romance doesn't feel earned.
- Foe Yay: With Dark Annisia in the Gail Simone series. Not so much subtext as text, since Annisia was undeniably in love with Sonja at one time and may still be.
- In the Conan/Red Sonja mini-series that Gail Simone co-wrote, it is revealed that Sonja and Annisia were lovers and traveled together for a time after being freed from the Zamoran dungeons, seeking out slavers on the high seas and killing them.
- Awesome Music: Courtesy of Ennio Morricone.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The random dancing topless girl in Gedren's scrying pool. In-universe it's treated like he forgot to re-tune it after his, er, "private entertainment".
- Complete Monster: Queen Gedren is an evil tyrant who opens the film by vamping on to Sonja herself. When Sonja resists her advances, Gedren has her family butchered and has Sonja gang raped by Gedren's soldiers. She later massacres a temple of peaceful priestesses to get her hands on an Artifact of Doom that will allow her to Take Over the World and shows no hesitation exterminating any country that resists her. When Sonja herself confronts Gedren later, Gedren says the lives of Sonja's family mean nothing next to a scar Sonja dealt her.
- Love It or Hate It: There are two schools of thought about the film, some love it and consider it a Cult Classic, while others consider it So Bad, It's Good. Others... not so much.
- Moral Event Horizon: Queen Gedren crossed it when she murdered Sonja's family and then had her gang-raped by her soldiers. Why? Because Sonja rejected her.
- Narm: Nielsen's dubious acting skills provide many unintentionally hilarious moments.
WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!?!
- Dittos for the acting of the boy prince ("BOY? You call me BOY?!"). Though he's technically supposed to be a spoiled brat, still, he has a tendency to shout out his lines with a weirdly eager tone.
- Special Effects Failure:
- The skeleton bridge over the lava is quite obviously a matte painting.
- In the opening scene with Gedren's army attacking the nuns, we see the same nun being thrown into the pit twice.
- Unfortunate Implications: The Encyclopedia of Fantasy accused the movie of being morally dubious as far as the portrayal of homosexuality is concerned. Gedren is portrayed as a lesbian whose rivalry with Sonja is based partly on the fact that Sonja once rejected her sexual advances.