DIRECTOR– E.W. Swackhamer
PLOT– Jack the Ripper comes back from the dead in Lake Havasu City, Arizona after a drop of blood falls onto London Bridge. A very hunky detective (David Hasselhoff) and his almost-as-hunky partner (Randolph Mantooth) search for the killer while finding love with a fishing boat captain (Stepfanie Kramer).
6 REASONS TO WATCH–
- Lake Havasu City political intrigue
- Lake Havasu City hunky police
- Lake Havasu City lonely cougars
- serial killers who enjoy a good book
- serial killers who hate cassette recorders
- Lake Havasu City shoulder pads
REVIEW– Ahhh, nostalgia. I remember watching Terror at London Bridge when it premiered on ABC back in 1985. At that time, David Hasselhof was nearing the height of his Hof powers.
What a glorious decade the 1980s was. I lived in Phoenix at the time, so I was pretty sure that if David Hasselhoff starred in a movie that takes place in Arizona, then we were kind of a big deal.
Only years later, after watching Terror at London Bridge again, did I realize I was very very wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy watching Mr. Hasselhoff’s brand of melodramatic acting (the entire cast’s acting is completely over the top). And therefore I absolutely loved this silly movie.
However, the film did not make Lake Havasu a big deal. That honor belongs to thousands of drunk, topless spring-breakers that descend on that little town each March and turn it into a floating Roman orgy.
Terror at London Bridge stars some interesting actors… in addition to David Hasselhoff, the movie stars the gorgeous Adrienne Barbeau, the supremely named Randolph Mantooth, the 80’s TV stalwart Stepfanie Kramer, the over-the-top Return of The Living Dead-killing Clu Gulager, and the wonderfully funny Rose Marie. All of them beautifully cast in this 80’s melodramatic masterpiece.
They simply don’t make TV movies like this anymore and that’s a real shame.
If you love the 80’s as much as me, you’ll treasure the mindless fun that is Terror at London Bridge.
FUN FACT– How the London Bridge ended up in an out of the way town in the deserts of Arizona is a wild story. According to the BBC…
The Bridge House Estates Committee of the City of London Common Council had known for some time London Bridge was sinking further into the River Thames with every passing rush hour. Horse-drawn carriages had long since made way for cars and double-decker buses and, over the years, the structure had been hammered deeper into the riverbed.
The obvious solution to members in 1965 was to demolish it and start again; build a new bridge, for a new era of commuters. Former newspaper and PR man Ivan Luckin had other ideas.
“He thought it was all very well knocking it down, but what about its future?” says former councilor Archie Galloway. That’s when Ivan made his move. He said to the committee, ‘we ought to sell it’. A lot of eyebrows went up at that.”
Luckin wanted to go a step further and advertise in the United States, where he felt certain someone would be interested in buying a well-known London landmark.
“Someone sensibly asked what they might get for [the bridge] and Ivan is recorded as saying, ‘one million’,” says Archie. “And they said, ‘one million dollars?’ Ivan said, ‘I’m talking about one million pounds.’ [Nearly three million dollars at the time.] They sat up at that.”
News of the sale was soon the subject of newspaper and TV reports trotting out the inevitable line that London Bridge “was falling down”.
Luckin’s glossy 40-page brochure for prospective buyers promoted not only the structure itself, but the chance to own a slice of history – a bridge had crossed the Thames in this part of London since Roman times.
It was this potential that inspired multimillionaire and eccentric genius Robert Paxton McCulloch and his business partner, Cornelius Vanderbilt “CV” Wood, who was known for designing Disneyland in California. Stories about how the pair got wind of the sale vary – according to Michael, they saw an advert on TV while on business in London.
“They had been having a few drinks together and saw it and I think they probably looked at each other and thought, ‘we should take that apart, that will be our gimmick’.”
Another version has Wood at a meeting about the sale of the RMS Queen Mary, at New York’s Plaza Hotel, where he supposedly asked, “anything else for sale?”
Either way, Luckin’s perseverance paid off and when the ink dried on the contract of sale on 18 April 1968, he was a man vindicated – his outlandish idea matched only by an even more ludicrous one.
“Ivan was immensely proud of it but never went around shouting it from the rooftops,” says Archie. “I think a lot of people thought he was a lunatic, but he was a man of single purpose.”