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Broken Vessels (1998)

R | | Drama | 29 July 1999 (USA)
1:10 | Trailer
A young Pennsylvania man moves to Los Angeles to begin work for an ambulance service. There he is teamed with a supremely confident vet who seemingly has gone through a large number of ... See full summary »



, (voice over co-writer) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roxana Zal ...
Mr. Chen
Dave Neilson ...
Charlie Spradling ...
Ginger (as Charley Spradling London)
Roger Castillo ...
Oscar (as Rodrigo Castillo)
David Baer ...
Al Israel ...
Detective McMahon


A young Pennsylvania man moves to Los Angeles to begin work for an ambulance service. There he is teamed with a supremely confident vet who seemingly has gone through a large number of partners. Initially the novice is awed by the more experienced man's capabilities to deal with the high pressure situations they encounter. However, gradually he discovers that all is not as it seems. While the vet is ice on the surface, he actually gets through the ordeals by heavy drug use and avoids commitments. Soon the younger man finds himself pulled into the same world and has to decide what direction he wants to take. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Over the edge and out of control. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and continuous drug use, language, sexuality and violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dérapages  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,722 (USA) (2 July 1999)


$13,493 (USA) (13 August 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where they're taking a boy who was in critical condition to the hospital. Tom is in the back with the boy and Jimmy is driving. In real life situations, Jimmy who is a Paramedic should have been in the back, being it was a Advance Life Support situation. Tom who is a E.M.T-Basic should have been driving. See more »


Tom: We're the devil, we're the devil, we're evil, we're evil, we're evil, god, we're evil!
Jimmy: Yeah, we're the devil. Shut up!
See more »


References The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) See more »


Grass Skirt Girl Ditty
Written & Performed by Todd Field
See more »

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User Reviews

Once Seen, Never Forget
1 February 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a film that once seen, the viewer will never forget. I'm at a loss for the low score here at IMDb. The performances are riveting and the depiction of generational drug abuse is something of which to take notice.

Those that think this dumps on the EMT profession, need to get real. What? You think that there are no abusers in this field of work? In fact, the one time I had to ride in a "bus," the EMT was starting an IV and I said "you guys haven't been cruising the park before coming here, have you?" He started laughing and told me how much he loved this film.

Of course, these guys could have been in any profession, but the superior irony would have been lost. This is one drug film I can recommend without hesitation, as it is chilling and stark. It in no way "glamorizes" drug use or the culture.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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