Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reel Thoughts: The Return of Donald Strachey

Chad Allen is back as gay private investigator Donald Strachey in Ice Blues: A Donald Strachey Mystery, but this time the mystery hits too close to home. His husband Tim Callahan (Sebastian Spence), who works for a distinctly Hillary-like New York State legislator, is furious when funding is cut for an at-risk youth center. He immediately begins calling donors, but he’s shocked when a man approaches him and offers the center an anonymous donation of three million dollars. Before Tim can find out more about the donor, the man is killed in front of him. He asks Donald to find out what happened, and soon the two are neck deep in trouble connected to a shady legal firm and a notorious child pornographer.

Allen and Spence have a wonderful chemistry, and Ice Blues really focuses on their relationship. Don and Tim start the film arguing about Don’s line of work, but soon Tim is exhilarated by the danger the two confront. It’s so refreshing to watch a film where a gay couple is depicted so casually, and Tim and Don almost feel like a modern-day Hart to Hart. The mystery is intriguing and does have some unexpected twists, but Ice Blues is more character-driven, even managing to give Detective Bailey (Daryl Shuttleworth) a touching back-story.

Ice Blues: A Donald Strachey Mystery debuted on here! TV this weekend, and will certainly be a hit on DVD; you can catch the trailer here.

UPDATE: Ice Blues is now available on DVD from

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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