6 March 2013 | bayardhiler
A Curious Movie of The Week
1970's "Night Slaves" is one of those curious little films that, on the one hand, probably won't go down as one of the greatest movies ever made but never the less, does seem to have something deeper going on under the surface. It all begins when businessman Clay Howard (James Franciscus) is seriously injured in an auto accident and as a result, is left with a metal plate in his head and the emotional scars that come from the experience. To make matters worse, he and his wife, Marjorie (Lee Grant), have been drifting apart for some time. So, in an attempt to rekindle, they go on a road trip and come to a small town, where they decide to spend the night. Trouble is, something strange is going on at night; the town's folks are roaming around town like zombies onto trucks and being driven off somewhere! It gets even more troubling when Clay's wife is caught up in the spell as well. He tries but fails to stop her and the next morning, nobody remembers a thing; nobody that is, except Clay. Night after night, this happens and things get even more interesting when a mysterious young woman keeps appearing to Clay while all this is going on. Rather than being scared, Clay finds himself falling in love with this mysterious girl and from there, Clay begins questioning his own life, about whether or not he is truly happy in this life and wondering if all this is the key to changing that. The movie is able to tell its story through good use of night filming, an effective music score, good acting on the part of Franciscus and Grant, and competent writing that examines love, one's place in the universe, and happiness. The film is certainly not perfect, but like I said, there does seem to be something underneath it all that is worth looking at. So, if you get the chance, check this one out on you tube because even small TV movies can have something to say about life. Also starring Leslie Nielsen as the town sheriff. 8 out of 10.