Terror at London Bridge turns 35: Hasselhoff vs The Ripper

Terror at London Bridge was a made for TV movie about the second coming of Jack the Ripper in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Starring David Hasselhoff and horror vets, Clu Gulagher and Adrienne Barbeau, this flick is a kitschy, good time.

Terror at London Bridge or Bridge Across Time was one of those made for TV affairs that I watched as a teenager. It aired in 1985 when the networks actually attempted to produce horror films.

This effort had the hallmarks for success written all over it. David Hasselhoff, (at the top of his game thanks to the hit show, Knight Rider) who was almost every woman’s fantasy starred as Detective Don Gregory who is certain that a 100-year-old serial killer (namely Jack the Ripper), is responsible for a rash of recent deaths in the resort town of Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Fortunately, he is backed up by some heavy hitters in the horror world to legitimize this film. Adrienne Barbeau and the legend that is Clu Gulagher were cast respectively as the town librarian and the Chief of police.

Of course, Adrienne as Lynn Chandler is at her foxy best and Clu is irascible as ever as Peter Dawson who is definitely not on board with Gregory’s crackpot theories about the grisly murders. As if this wasn’t enough celebrity excitement, as was the custom back then, more stars were attached to this production.

Terror at London Bridge

Adrienne Barbeau (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)

In the 70’s, there was a top 10 show called Emergency! (which was the grandfather of NBC’s 90’s blockbuster, E.R.) which focused on the trials and tribulations of emergency room personnel. Randolph Mantooth who plays Hasselhoff’s partner, Joe Nez was the star and resident hunk of that old medical drama.

Also featured in Terror at London Bridge, was Stepfanie Kramer who was Sgt. Dee Dee McCall on the hot 80’s cop series, Hunter with Fred Dryer. She portrayed Detective Gregory’s love interest, Angie.

Rounding out this crazy cast was Rose Marie, a queen during the golden age of television. She starred on The Dick Van Dyke Show with the late, great, Carl Reiner and Mary Tyler Moore.

The story revolves around the London Bridge being erected in Lake Havasu and how the soul of the White Chapel slasher is transported to the Arizona town in one of the bridge’s stones. A quick bit of trivia, yes, the bridge is really located in Lake Havasu.

During the 60’s, it was literally falling down. A man by the name of Ivan Luckin who was a PR whiz came up with an interesting marketing ploy to get someone to buy the landmark.

By promoting it as a way to own a piece of history that had been around since the Romans, it piqued the curiosity of two millionaires who designed Disneyland, Robert Paxton McCulloch and C.V. Wood. McCulloch was the founder of Lake Havasu, so hence, that’s why the bridge resides there.

There are some over-the-top acting moments in this hidden gem but it is well worth the time and effort to watch. If you are craving nostalgia and something different from the usual Halloween fare, check this one out.

Next: CREEPSHOW

You can watch Terror at London Bridge on Amazon Prime, DirecTV and EPIX.

Have you seen this made for TV movie? Let us know in the comments.