6.7/10
888
10 user 8 critic

Shock to the System (2006)

Trailer
1:52 | Trailer
A gay detective tries to solve the murder of a college student.

Director:

Ron Oliver

Writers:

Richard Stevenson (based on the book by), Ron McGee

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Third Man Out (TV Movie 2005)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A gay detective is hired to find who has been been threatening a notorious member of the gay community noted for outing people.

Director: Ron Oliver
Stars: Chad Allen, Sebastian Spence, Jack Wetherall
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A mysterious client of private eye Don Strachey pays him cash to tail a woman who turns out to be an undercover officer; an older lesbian couple are victims of threats and vandalism; an old... See full summary »

Director: Ron Oliver
Stars: Chad Allen, Sebastian Spence, Margot Kidder
Ice Blues (2008)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Tim Callahan, aide to New York Senator Lauren Platt, is disappointed that all of the $3 million funding has been pulled from his latest pet project, a safe zone for children and youth. His ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Oliver
Stars: Chad Allen, Sebastian Spence, Daryl Shuttleworth
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An insight into the turbulent lives and loves of a gay clique based in Los Angeles.

Director: Greg Berlanti
Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, Zach Braff
Save Me (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A sex and drug addicted young man who is forced into a Christian-run ministry in an attempt to cure him of his "gay affliction", where instead he is faced with the truth in his heart and spirit.

Director: Robert Cary
Stars: Jeremy Glazer, Chad Allen, David Petruzzi
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A gay student who is "out" at college but not to his family receives an unexpected visit from his boyfriend while at home during the holidays.

Director: Rob Williams
Stars: Keith Jordan, Wyatt Fenner, Steve Callahan
Mulligans (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two college friends take a journey home. One of them makes a mistake that may tear a family apart. Sometimes there are no second chances, sometimes there are no mulligans.

Director: Chip Hale
Stars: Dan Payne, Thea Gill, Charlie David
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.

Director: Tom Gustafson
Stars: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A socially shunned columnist finds his romantic match online, but messaging under the wrong account causes his sleazy roommate's picture to be forwarded, creating an identity mix-up.

Director: J.C. Calciano
Stars: Nicholas Downs, David Loren, Adam Huss
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein re-creates his role as the unsinkable Arnold Beckoff in this film adaptation of the smash Broadway play TORCH SONG TRILOGY. A very ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Bogart
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein
eCupid (2011)
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A gay man nearing 30, and in a 7-year relationship rut, taps into an otherworldly Internet ad that starts omnisciently controlling his life.

Director: J.C. Calciano
Stars: Houston Rhines, Noah Schuffman, Matt Lewis
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

"All Over The Guy" is a contemporary romantic comedy about the quest to find the "one" when "the one" doesn't know he's the "one." It explores the unlikely pairing of two 20-somethings ... See full summary »

Director: Julie Davis
Stars: Dan Bucatinsky, Richard Ruccolo, Sasha Alexander
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chad Allen ... Donald Strachey
Sebastian Spence ... Timmy Callahan
Michael Woods ... Dr. Cornell
Daryl Shuttleworth ... Detective Bailey
Morgan Fairchild ... Mrs. Hale
Anne Marie DeLuise ... Lynne Cornell
Rikki Gagne Rikki Gagne ... Katey Simmons (as Rikki Gange) (as Rikki Gagné)
Stephen Huszar ... Grey
Nelson Wong ... Kenny Kwan
Ryan Kennedy ... Walter
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman ... Levon
Shawn Roberts ... Larry
Gerry Morton Gerry Morton ... Jefferson
Morgan Brayton ... Hannah
Leanne Adachi Leanne Adachi ... Dr. Sung
Edit

Storyline

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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Donald Strachey Mystery See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content, nudity, language and a violent image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Donald Strachey: Systemschock See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,750, 6 August 2006

Gross USA:

$3,768

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,768
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White (opening sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Donald Strachey is known for always driving a beat up, old, poorly running circa 1985 Toyota Tercel hatchback. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Strachey thinks Kenny is breaking into his office, Strachey is wearing sunglasses. As soon as he busts through the door after Kenny, his glasses are off, and then reappear on his very next shot. See more »

Connections

Followed by Ice Blues (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Over You
written by Peter Allen & David Hudgins
performed by Peter Allen, Vincent Mai and Sibell Thrasher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A nice, complicated murder mystery with an interesting private eye. Don't forget to read the books by Richard Stevenson
6 February 2008 | by Terrell-4See all my reviews

"Trevor Cornell is one of the most successful reparative therapy providers in New York," says Timmy Callahan. "I wonder what his idea of 'successful' is," says Donald Strachey, a private eye. "Dressing badly," says Callahan, "decorating your home with duck decoys, breaking out in a rash whenever Barbra Streisand sings."

To explain: Reparative therapy means conversion from being gay or lesbian into happy, contented heteroes. Timmy Callahan (Sebastian Spence) is a political type in Albany, New York. Donald Strachey (Chad Allen) is not only a capable and tough private eye in Albany, he and Timmy are married. "At least," as Strachey says, "as close as two men can get to it...more important, I'm in love with him." Those who find a gay agenda under every leaf, revolver and bloody baseball bat may not like this movie. On the other hand, those with a fondness for well-constructed mysteries that feature politics, victimization, murder, martinis and phenalzine should enjoy the story, the style of Donald Strachey and the puzzle. Bet you don't guess the murderer. It's worth pointing out that you don't need to be a collie to enjoy "Lassie" or a guy with a gut to enjoy John Wayne. And you don't need to be gay to enjoy Shock to the System. The movie has it's faults...it was made for cable with awkward acting in some of the secondary roles and it has that clean, careful look of most made-for-TV films. But the mystery is satisfyingly complicated, with a nice number of red herrings. Chad Allen makes a believable, interesting private eye. And his happy home life with Timmy would probably be the envy of many married couples, gay or straight.

Paul Hale, a frightened 20-year-old man, wants Strachey to help him. But before he can tell Strachey what he wants, he is found dead. At first it's thought Hale died of a stroke, but when a lethal mixture of alcohol and barbiturates is found in Hale's system, Strachey decides to find out what was going on. And that takes him undercover to the Phoenix Foundation, a successful institution led by Dr. Trevor Cornell and his wife, where gays and lesbians, Dr. Cornell says, can find their true path to heterosexuality. It turns out that Hale was going to be a poster boy for the Foundation when Cornell announced a major push to go nation-wide with his cures. Not only does Strachey find himself taking part in group therapy and flashing back to his own earlier life, he gets threatened, beaten up, chased and shot. Almost as frightening, he encounter's Hale's wealthy, well-groomed and surgically-enhanced mother. "My son was not gay!" she says. "He was...confused." Strachey eventually solves the crime. Justice, formal and informal, is dealt out.

Donald Strachey is the gay private eye in eight mysteries written by Richard Stevenson, beginning with Death Trick in 1981. They are first-rate reads with clever, involved and sometimes violent plots. In other words, they aren't gay mysteries...they're mysteries that happen to feature a gay private eye. Two of the books have been made into cable movies; this one was shown in 2006 and Third Man Out was shown in 2005. The books are well worth reading if you like mysteries. This movie is no classic, but it makes it's "gay agenda" points low-key enough that they don't interfere with the story. And although there is a bit of beef cake that shows up from time to time, one or two friendly smooches and a quick flash of frontal nudity, the movie has none of the leering smarminess that seems built-in to many of the boy-girl Hollywood films nowadays.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed