A magic rock
transports Jack the Ripper through time to the sleepy town of Lake Havasu.
Luckily, David Hasselhoff is there to kick his English arse.
Hasselhoff plays Don Gregory: A big city cop who loses his cool after
killing a young boy whom he mistakes for being armed. Don is reassigned to
the small town of Lake Havasu, where things are kept pretty low-key; that
is, until Jack the Ripper comes to town (did I mention the magic rock?).
Kramer plays Angie: A local woman, Hoff’s love interest, and proprietor
of a boat rental company.
Barbeau plays Lynn Chandler: Angie’s friend; a librarian who’s a
sucker for a (really fake) British accent. Swamp Thing, unfortunately,
never shows up to save her from this film.
Mantooth plays Joe Nez: Hoff’s partner; no one extraordinary, but
“Mantooth” is a pretty cool name.
Clu Gulager plays Chief Peter Dawson: Hoff’s
boss; the requisite ticked-off police captain. His name is pretty cool
too, but it’s no “Mantooth.”
curious as to how Bridge Across Time came to be.
can only imagine the sales pitch:
Producer: “Ok, so you have
this famous bridge from London, see, and they move this bridge – the
entire bridge, mind you – to America, to act as a centerpiece to a
quaint English village recreation. BUT, this
also happens to be the same bridge that Jack the Ripper was shot off of
way back in the 1800’s – and they never found his body, see! So, they
bring over the whole bridge, except they’re missing one piece – a
block of cement knocked off by Jack during his dramatic demise all those
years ago! But then they find the missing piece at the bottom of the river
and send it to America, see! So they have this huge celebration in honor
of the bridge’s completion, and that evening, after the festivities have
ended and almost everybody has gone home, one of the straggling tourists
accidentally cuts herself while strolling the bridge, and a tiny drop of
blood lands onto that imported rock, see! There’s some smoke, a flash,
and BOOM! Jack the Ripper appears and resumes his diabolical killing
Money: “Ok, so let me get
this straight, Jack the Ripper materializes in modern day 1985 from….a
Producer: “Yeah! Yeah! It
can’t miss, see! And the only person to combat this historical madman is
David Hasselhoff - a tough city cop recently reassigned to Lake Havasu
after a fatal mishap where he inadvertently killed a young boy whom he
mistook as being armed! So, not only does Hoff have to confront Jack the
Ripper, but he must also confront his inner-demons, see!”
Money: “Hmmm, Jack the
Ripper in modern day 1985. David Hasselhoff, star of both cinema and
television, battling both the Ripper and his emotions. Do you realize what
you have here, mister?”
Money: “No! What you
have here, simply put, is GENIUS! (to his secretary) Quick! Get
Hasselhoff’s agent on the phone!”
Producer: “Don’t bother,
he’s right outside the front door. I put a nickel in his tin cup on my
thus, Bridge Across Time was born. Or shat, depending on how you want to
look at it.
in all fairness, I should point out that this film was not only made for
TV, but was also made in 1985. As we all know, made-for-TV cinema - for
the most part – sucks. And 1985 wasn’t exactly a stellar year in terms
of hipness. So, automatically, that’s two strikes going against it.
let’s give blame where blame is due – Bridge Across Time truly sucks
consider the story – Jack the Ripper is reincarnated through a rock! A
rock, for Pete’s sake! And then, this infamous madman who has eluded the
authorities for years is finally bested by David Hasselhoff?! I’d expect
McGruff the Crime Dog to take the Ripper down before David Hasselhoff!
the most part, the acting is standard televison fare. No one really blew
me away, but then again, no one really blew.
regressing a bit, I must accentuate that my biggest gripe is the story –
I mean, a rock, for cryin’ out loud! Sure, there were some hokey
characters, bad fashion (shame on you, Dave!), and sad, faux rock music,
but that story was really the pits - along with the dancing (again, shame
two British suspects: One dresses in black, looks ominous, acts weird,
and carries newspaper clippings detailing the Ripper’s murders. The
other dresses like a dandy, is polite, kind, and a real charmer with the
ladies. Golly, which one can be the killer? I’m willing to bet
there’s a big plot twist at the end that we’ll never see coming.
perpetually angry police chief. This guy is in everything.
show-stopper where David Hasselhoff confesses to Angie about being a
former big city cop who inadvertently shot a juvenile suspect running
from a convenience store when he mistook said suspect for pulling a gun
– which actually turned out to be a can opener! A can opener! Hoff
even manages to whip up a couple tears! Now that’s ACTING!
Hoff’s partner, Joe, who somehow manages to look like Dustin
Hoffman and Steve Perry at the same time! ACTING! On second thought,
probably just coincidence.
out a clip from this film, along with many others, here!
-- Copyright © 2001 by J. Bannerman