aka Messiah of Evil, the Short Lived Exploitation Release (+ link to Zombie Law article!)
With my mind on August 19, 1978, elsewhere in the Metro Area was something called Return of the Living Dead, although it was certainly not a George Romero film. To explain, there was a company who seriously ripped off the advertising style used for George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead to hype up a re-issue of Messiah of Evil, a very under rated film that sadly got caught with a couple of very low level companies – first being International Cine Film, Libert, and then over to Cougar, who collected about 30 of International Cine Film’s films which, according to a Boxoffice Magazine article, some never got a theatrical play although Messiah of Evil did in LA. The ad line was the very one that was used in Dawn of the Dead, the epic that was announced and getting readied for release in ’78 which turned up in ’79.
I don’t know if Checker Releasing, the company mentioned in this ad, is connected to Cougar, so I’m not making any statements yet although it was about a year after the company got the film under it’s real name. It could be someone else (you know the games they play).
Thankfully, George Romero took charge and sued. In this article on the great Zombie Law blog, things are explained a little more in detail. Click on the link below and read on as it’s very interesting.