Shock to the System (A Donald Strachey Mystery)
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When the poster boy for an ex-gay group is murdered, the young man’s mother hires gay private investigator Donald Strachey (Chad Allen reprising his role in Third Man Out) to find the killer and bring him to justice. With verve, intelligence and style, this gay mystery series just keeps getting better and better.
Following up the terrific Third Man Out director Ron Oliver is back with the second installment in the Donald Strachey mystery series. Strachey is asked to investigate the suspicious death of Paul Haig by three different people; Haig's homophobic mother, his ex-lover, and the psychiatrist hired to "cure" him of his homosexuality. Our favorite gay detective is forced to go undercover inside an ex-gay therapy group when his newest client, the poster boy for this organization, winds up dead. Joining the already stellar cast of Shock to the System is Morgan Fairchild who has previously appeared in such shows as "Falcon Crest" and "Friends." Based on the popular novels by Richard Stevenson, The Donald Strachey mysteries are being made for HereTV! Chad Allen reprises his role as Strachey and Sebastian Spence returns as his loving partner, Timmy.
-- Scott Cranin
anonymous wrote on 06/09/2010:
These are great, positive, gay films. WHY, are there no more in the series?
JANORM wrote on 10/28/2009:
This film, while a definitive detective episode, has the cinematic characteristics of Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christi, just a touch of Stephen King for good measure. The director, Ron Oliver, seems to delight in faithfully recreating the book narative on screen. This keeps the audience mystified, yet totally enthralled with the action sequence. The actors in this flix are perfectly suited to their roles, and in actuality, enhance the quality. We see a further development of the main character's background which only enhances the audience's entertainment. The subject matter of this film, is a very conroversal area to be treading, changing gays to straights. This is another gay detective picture that should be added to your collection. EVENTS AND IDEALS CAN BE VERY DECEIVING AND MISLEADING! NJMJr!
Amos Lassen wrote on 10/20/2009:
“SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM’
The Second Donald Strachey Movie
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
PI Donald Strachey is back and even better. Following “Third Man Out” Here! TV is releasing “Shock to the System”. The second Donald Strachey movie is not just good, it is even better than its predecessor. This time our gay detective deals with sexual healing and Chad Allen as Strachey is just as good looking and just as good an actor as he was in the first film. His shady past which was alluded to in the first film is brought out into the open. Strachey was dismissed from the army because he was gay.
The plot is terrific, again the cast is amazing and the screenplay is literate. Chad Allen’s portrayal still continues to show his wide range of acting abilities and the scene in which he relates his Army experiences raises goose bumps.
Strachey takes on a new case but just as he begins his investigation his client turns up dead and speculation leads to ruling the death a suicide. Our PI feels that there is something “unkosher” in that surmisal and decides to get the entire story. His faithful husband, Tim, played by Sebastian Spence, and his loyal and over eager assistant, Kenny Kwon (Nelson Wong) hop on board to help. There was no advance warning that the investigation would lead them on a trail of twists and turns onto the world of “gay conversion” therapy. Michael Woods as Dr. Trevor Cornell is our villain and he is a slick one.
A good looking supporting cast and a wonderful performance by Morgan Fairchild as a society grand dame with secrets of her own give the three investigators something to chew on. Chad Allen’s bravura performance alone makes the movie worthwhile. Yet there are other things that help make this a standout film. The way gay characters are treated is one of the beautiful things that Regent Releasing and Here! TV are very careful about. Gone are the days when we were the sad members of society doomed to an unhappy endings. We have come full circle and it is no longer necessary to have us live a life of misery just because we are different. If nothing else secures us a place in movie history, the films based on the books by Richard Stevenson will insure that. It is so wonderful to see that our sexual lives no longer define us and as all of us have recently seen there are gay characters everywhere now who are depicted as just people. The stereotypes which once seemed to have dominated us are no longer around to put us in a separate class. We are everywhere and like everyone else and we are finally being treated that way. It took us a long time to get to this point but we shall not ever be leavening it. With the new trend in film and literature we can now rightfully take the place we deserve and it is none too late for that
dick miller wrote on 09/11/2008:
If you are a big fan of the book, skip the dvd. It did keep the title and character's names, but not much more. I really dislike this in major studio releases and find it more disturbing in gay movies. If you haven't read the book, you should probably look to other reviewers.
jmore865 wrote on 03/15/2008:
Sequels are usually not as good as the first film. Not in this case. They keep the excitement rolling.
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