The Return


While stopping at a diner late one night in a small New Mexico town, a young girl defies her parents and gets out of the vehicle while they go inside to get food. 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 worried parents after giving the boy a kiss and a memento - her lapel pin.
Twenty years later, the sheriff 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 writer/reporter 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. Rather than leaving the town as he had always planned, the boy stayed and became the sheriff. And even though her family continued on to California, the girl 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 years ago - but so was he.
To make matters worse, the mutilations have had a purpose - he has been carving out parts of the cattle and teleporting them into space using a device secreted away in a cave on his land. 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 sheriff, it becomes apparent that all was an experiment by the aliens who then leave with whatever results they garnered from the conflict.

1980 | 1 hr 34 min | 3.1/10
The Return