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I'm looking for the title of an old sci-fi I watched as a child with my mum. It involves cattle being cut open "by aliens or humans with a special tool/laser cutter". The cattle are found the next day cut open and their innards spilled out. I think it's from the late 70's.

Anybody know which movie this is?

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After searching around on Google, perhaps it is The Return, a sci-fi film from 1980?

Plot summary from Wikipedia:

While stopping at a gas station late one night in a small New Mexico town called Little Creek, a young girl gets out of the vehicle while her father goes inside. Exploring the empty main street of the town she meets a local boy, and both are soon mesmerized by a column of light from above. After a minute or two the light disappears and the young girl runs back to her father's car and they soon leave.

Twenty-five years later, the deputy marshal of the town (Vincent) is investigating a strange case of cattle mutilations with few leads to follow so far. His efforts are soon hampered by a scientist from California (Shepard). As the two conflict over the mutilations and their possible causes, they find themselves attracted to one another in an almost-familiar way, as if they share some unknown bond. As events unfold, they discover that they were the children shown at the beginning of the film and that the night depicted then changed their lives.

The boy stayed and became a deputy marshal while the girl went back to California, but she always felt a strange urge to return. Along with the blossoming romance between the two, the mutilation case comes to a head when the culprit appears to be a crazy old prospector hermit living alone on the outskirts of town (Schiavelli). The plot thickens, however, when the hermit claims that not only were the children visited by aliens that fateful night twenty five years ago - but so was he.

To make matters worse, the mutilations have a purpose - he has been carving out parts of the cattle and teleporting them into space using a device secreted away in a cave behind his cabin. While confronting the man near the device, an otherwise fatal blow from the alien "knife" fails to kill or even harm her. After being saved by the deputy, it becomes apparent that it was all an experiment by the aliens who then leave with whatever results they garnered from the incident.

Edit: there's a clip on YouTube:

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