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The Spreading Ground (2000)

When five bodies turn up in the waters of Burman City, its illusion of safety is shattered, and Mayer Hackett will stop at nothing to see the peace returned.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie DeLongpre
Det. Michael McGivern
Tom McCamus ...
Johnny Gault
David Dunbar ...
Milo Spivak
Mayor Hackett
Capt. Nieman
Mrs. Osterman
Tom Harvey ...
Paddy Flynn
Rob Stefaniuk ...
Yvan Labelle ...
Sean O'Hara ...
Flannery Pincher
Stubby Styles (as Tim Burd)
Amanda Soha ...
Crystal Osterman
Det. Daniels


When five bodies turn up in the waters of Burman City, its illusion of safety is shattered, and Mayer Hackett will stop at nothing to see the peace returned.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To catch a killer is to know him, feel him...anticipate him.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

5 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evil  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The facility manager: [As Det DeLongpre runs into the viaduct, gun drawn] Hey, just don't hurt the water!
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User Reviews

Well Done Canadian Production
19 July 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This Canadian production gives us Dennis Hopper and Frederick Forest as two detectives who are left only 48 hours to find the serial murderer. If they don't get the job done, the mayor's major investment in some property will be ruined and she'll be out of office. The mayor, however, is involved with some highly juiced Irish crooks, including Tom McCamus, and she puts the crooks on the tail of the serial murderer too because the killings are upsetting her apple cart. Tom McCamus has a great face for the movies. (He was an incestuous Dad in "The Sweet Hereafter".) And you can't beat him name, "Son of Camus." Unfortunately his acting here is about at the level of everyone else's -- strictly utilitarian. Dennis Hopper tries to play it straight, really he does. But underneath the professional cop and the flawed father we still sense the demon. I've always liked Frederick Forest. I don't think he's ever made it possible for a viewer to forget he's acting, but he looks great with his puffy eyes and louche ponytail. He looked even better as Dashiel Hammett. Not to put any of these performers down. Their acting doesn't stand out as poor because no one's stands out as particularly good. Leslie Hope seems to bring a kind of blur to whatever part of the screen she occupies. (Leslie Hope? Isn't that Bob Hope's real name? Maybe not.) The script is generic and not especially bad. The direction is efficient. The photography is really quite good. The colors are cool but appropriately so. And the lighting is as it should be -- solid black shadows where they are called for, and naturalistic lighting elsewhere. They didn't catch The X-File syndrome and throw us a lot of flashlight beams poking about in perpetual gloom. There's what I guess could be called an average chase through some newly constructed sewer at the climax.

In first explaining how the sewer works to the investigators, the manager goes through his practiced tour -- the street runoff comes in here and is congealed with the solid waste, then it's processed in that unit over there, then the solid waste is emulsified and extracted by the Nakatomi Solid Waste Extractor, the individual E. coli are vasectomized, the cholera vibrios receive twelve-step counseling, the chloroform and bacteriocidal material are added over there, diluted with Toxico Smegmaphage, fractionally distilled, tested on experimental groups drawn from third-world prisons, and then its flushed out into the reservoir.

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