Alternate Character Interpretation: The U.S. cut has the Soviets intentionally launching a missile while the original version has the agent trying to stop it. Also Godzilla is portrayed a bit more fiercely, upon finding the source of the bird call he seems angry and moves to attack. Only for a maser cannon to fire and save them. The original cut has Godzilla calm and then its ruined by a maser attack.
Awesome Music: Reijiro Koroku composed a truly memorable, dark and foreboding score. The music that plays when Godzilla falls into Mt. Mihara has been deeply embedded into many a Godzilla-fan's brain.
Moment of Awesome: Godzilla's showdown with the Super X; the airship is able to incapacitate Godzilla with Cadmium missiles - quite painfully, it seems. The beast is fully unconscious until the nuclear missile detonates over the city. The resulting radioactive storms revive and recharge Godzilla, who sees - and recognizes - the Super X, and what can only be described as a duel ensues; Godzilla's fire breath versus the X's artillery (notably, they are out of Cadmium missiles at this point) with the city getting thoroughly trashed. The fight reaches its climax when Godzilla finally downs the airship with his atomic breath, then, literally, drops a building on it to finish it off.
Nightmare Fuel: The scene at the beginning where Goro comes across the Yahata-Maru, finds the crew in various states of decay, and the attack by Shockirus definitely qualify. The music itself lends to the atmosphere, and in the western release, the scene with Shockirus was shortened, with its flying scenes removed to add onto the feeling of horror.
Re Cut: Some of the Japanese executives admitted they found the shorter and more frantic version of the sea louse attack better. However, on the whole, Toho's bigwigs found "Godzilla 1985" to be "more commercial" (which is double-talk for They Changed It, Now It Sucks). Some fans think the U.S. cut of the Soviet sub destruction to be an improvement too.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Being a Godzilla film (but not directed by Ishiro Honda), nuclear weapons being used was the major issue and the whole point of the film, like in the original. But unlike the original film, where Godzilla was used as a living personification of nuclear weapons, it's the usage of nuclear weapons that drives the point of the film. The major debate was the usage of a small-scaled nuclear weapon that would only affect short portions of a major city, while the atom bombs in 1945 were city-wide destructive. The Japanese are still were affected by this, and the Prime Minister had to thoroughly convince the leaders of USSR and United States if they had to do the same despite civilian casualties. Unfortunately, this issue was removed in the 1985 cut in favor of presenting the Soviets as Omnicidal Maniacs, just to shoehorn pro-American propaganda into the film.
Tear Jerker: Need the Volcano scene at the end be mentioned again?
Took the Bad Film Seriously: This is not a bad film, but not the kind most actors would go to the mat for. When the film was getting ready to be Americanized as Godzilla 1985, Raymond Burr was brought back to reprise his role from the Americanization of the first Godzilla film. He was told that they were trying to add a lighter tone to the dark, gothic film and that the writers had given him lots of funny lines. He turned them down cold, saying he took Godzilla's Japanese nuclear subtext very seriously, as it was portrayed in both the original and this film, and that he would only perform in a serious role. He likewise refused to help with any of the Dr. Pepper product placement in the film, and in the final product gives a deep, thoughtful performance at odds with much of the goofiness surrounding him, making him a highlight for many who prefer the original film to the recut.