Jerry J Jameson
If catastrophe struck and it had a large ensemble cast, Jerry Jameson was probably responsible. From triple-digit temperatures to killer comets, scenarios for catastrophe are virtually inexhaustible -- and the director proved it. Jameson made his feature directing debut with "Brute Corps" (1972), a hippies-vs.-soldiers exploitation pic. He soon graduated to filming episodes of the crime shows "The Mod Squad" and "Canon." Jameson's flood of low-rent Irwin Allen productions was released with the 1974 broadcast of "Heat Wave!." But that wasn't all. Also released in 1974 were the made-for-TV movies "The Elevator" (or: "Lifeboat" in an office building), "Hurricane," and "Terror on the 40th Floor" -- a shameless rip-off of "The Towering Inferno," which itself was a rip-off of "The Poseidon Adventure." Jameson's pièce de résistance arrived with the theatrically released "Airport '77," better known as the disaster flick that supplied the raw material for the spoof "Airplane!" Next year's "Superdome" -- in which a roaming killer adds much excitement to the Super Bowl -- was later lampooned in "Mystery Science Theater 3000."