Shock To The System

Synopsis: Because of a feature article on him in the Advocate, Albany based Donald Strachey has gained some notoriety as a gay private detective. His latest client, Paul Hale, a scared young man, provides Donald with a $5,000 retainer to find "someone", that person unspecified before Paul is scared off. Soon thereafter, Paul is found dead. The official cause of death is deemed suicide by the coroner's office, but Donald wants to do right by Paul by finding who killed him as the police unofficially believe he was murdered. Another person who believes Paul was murdered is his mother, Phyllis Hale. Donald learns that homophobic Mrs. Hale sent Paul to the Phoenix Foundation, run by Dr. Trevor Cornell and his wife Lynn Cornell and for which Paul was the poster child. The Foundation's raison d'etre is repairative therapy i.e. to help people turn from gay to straight. Donald believes Paul's death has something to do with the Foundation, whether it be a connection to one of the Cornells or one of the ot
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Ron Oliver
Production: Regent Releasing
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min


Don Strachey?

You must be Paul Hale.


Gotta tell you, Paul,

I usually meet new

clients in my office.

Sorry, I just...

I can't really be

seen going there.

Not now.

I don't know why we couldn't

have just done this

over the phone.

I like to meet

clients face-to-face,

that's how I know

they're legit.


Maybe you should tell me

what you're looking for?

I need help.

I need you to track

someone down for me.


You can do that, right?


But listen, you gotta keep

this totally secret.

Nobody can know

what you're doing.

Look, maybe you want to tell

me who you're looking for?

I need someone

I can trust.

Can I trust you?

Yeah, yeah, you can.

Look, there's a diner

around the corner,

why don't

we take a walk...

you and I

can just talk.

I can't be seen.

Here take it,

take it!





We don't have time.

I can think of a thousand

things I'd rather do

than go to this event.

We promised.

That was just

number three.

Wait 'til you see

number 6 and number 7.

We're going.

Both of us.

But I guess we could

be fashionably late.

Tell me about

number 7 again.

...and I say we take this

right to their doorsteps.

Camp out at city hall

until we get some answers.

Councilwoman Ferrani's

promised to follow

through with this.

We have to give her time.

Please, I want results,

not empty rhetoric.

Especially from someone

the gay community

helped put into office.

You agree with

me, don't you?

Do I?

No, you don't.

No, I don't,

I definitely do not.

Look at that,


Nice talking with you.

Likewise I'm sure.

You know darling, I love

you more than my luggage,

but sometimes I wish you

would at least pretend

to be interested in what's

going on in the world.

I am interested

in the world.

I just don't give a rat's

ass about politics.

Maybe that's because you

don't know enough about it.

Maybe it's because

it's boring?


Honey, politics is the most

exciting cornerstone

of our civilization.

It requires a mastery

of many skills.




I communicate just fine.


Barkeep, two martinis.

And just dab

the vermouth behind my ears.

Sometimes I swear

you'd be happier

spending the evenings

with a bullet-riddled corpse.

That's not true.

I also like dodging

speeding vehicles

in dark alleys

in the middle of the night.

And speaking of that,

have you heard

from your young

Mr. Hale today?

No, I called

and left a message,

but I haven't heard back-

hey! You hear that?

Every time a martini

shaker is shaken,

an angel gets his wings.

It's you, right?

You're the guy that was

in that advocate article,

the gay detective!

Sparky, right?

It's Strachey.

Donald Strachey.

And he's a private

investigator, actually.

How cool is that?

You're like the first gay

detective I've ever heard of

I mean, I know a

couple of gay firemen,

but a gay detective...

yeah, that's something.

Saved by the ring tone.

...uhm, Strachey,

yeah, okay.

You wanna tell me what

it's about, detective?


Right now?

Okay, see ya,

in twenty minutes.

Let me guess.

Bullet riddled corpse?

Detective Bailey

says it's an emergency.

Sorry, honey.

Sparky the gay detective,

off to save the day.

Watch your step.

You always wear formal attire

to crime scenes, Strachey?

Trying to upgrade

my image.

Can I see him?

Paul Hale, sh*t.

You know him?

What happened?

He had a stroke.

A stroke?

He's barely

twenty years old.

He washed down a bottle

of xanax with bourbon.


So it appears.

I'll know for sure

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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