- Adaptation Displacement: While the movie is mostly cult, the book on which it is based is even more obscure nowadays.
- Awesome Music:
- Best Known for the Fanservice: The film's enduring popularity is primarily based on the fact that it features a beautiful, naked space vampire as the primary antagonist.
- Evil Is Sexy: Space Girl, who doesn't even bother wearing clothes half the movie. Also exploited, as she uses her looks to seduce her victims and drain them to a husk.
- Foe Yay: Carlson is sexually obsessed with the Space Girl, who claims to love him in return. As he ends up one of her "brides", this may even be true for that species.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie is surprisingly popular in Japan, having been aired in Tv Asahi's Sunday Movie Theaternote several times, with the last airing being in 2015. This can be attributed to Nagaharu Yodogawa's infamous review of the film. Yodogawa, highly influential and prominent movie critic who could easily be considered Japan's equivalent to the late Roger Ebert, spend a good portion of his review praising Mathilda May's appearance and attributes.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Can you believe they cast Patrick Stewart in a role where he was in a wheelchair and wielded psychic powers? Or that he was under alien influence? Preposterous!
- Just Here for Godzilla: It's safe to say people don't watch this movie for its merits as highbrow cinema, but rather for the alien space breasts.
- Magnificent Bitch: Space Girl is an intelligent alien predator whose kind feasts on human souls for nourishment. Assuming the form of a nubile young woman after probing the minds of the Churchill crew, she seduces Lt. Carlson to pilot the ship back to Earth while feeding on the rest of his crew. Once released on Earth, Space Girl leaves a trail of dead while staying several steps ahead of the heroes at every turn, leading them on a wild goose chase throughout lower England in an attempt to track down her current host body before she unleashes a Zombie Apocalypse upon London with her two male vampire consorts, decapitating the government before it can marshal an effective response by infecting the Prime Minister. At the end, she offers Carlson a chance to rule by her side, with even his Heroic Sacrifice to kill her not being able to prevent her from repowering the vampire hiveship with the souls of her many victims.
- Narm: The Space Girl's Full-Frontal Assault on the research facility can be seen as funny by some viewers, effectively killing any chance for the movie to be taken seriously. The fact the film itself seems to be aware of how ridiculous this sequence is (see: the security guards' reactions, with one of them trying to lure Space Girl with a biscuit only to get zapped for his troubles) doesn't help matters.
- Shocking Swerve: The film wanted to have a Tomato in the Mirror ending by having one of the protagonists revealed as a space vampire. It would have worked, too, if this didn't contradict the rest of the movie.
- Special Effect Failure:
- The zombie corpses are impressive, but they move unconvincingly.
- The shot of the rocket in the comet suffers from bad black outlines.
- There's a really bad blue screen shot of people running away from the chaos in London.
- The overhead shot of London being attacked is obviously Only a Model.
- Spiritual Successor: To Hammer Studios' 1967 film of Quatermass and the Pit a.k.a. Five Million Years to Earth.note (Though, of course, all the nakedness is a product of 1980's cinema.)
- Vindicated by History: The movie was a Box Office Bomb upon release, widely panned by critics for being a convoluted mess and even the original author of the book it was based on dubbed it the worst movie ever made, some even citing this as Tobe Hoopers Career Killer. Nowadays its often seen as a major Cult Classic from the 1980s and one of Hoopers last great movies with an amazing score by Henry Mancini, amazing visual effects and an all around unique story and premise that couldve only existed during that time period.
YMMV / Lifeforce