40 years ago, George A. Romero delivered a bonafide masterpiece in Dawn of the Dead. Set in the same post-apocalyptic universe he built 10 years prior with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, the sprawling two-hour epic not only painted the horror in vivid Technicolor flourishes, but widened the lens to reveal a world not unlike our own.
Watch above as we dissect the film’s harrowing opening sequence and illustrate how Romero expertly infuses his story with mounting tension. As with Night of the Living Dead, the Pittsburgh auteur frames a terrifying portrait of an America that’s being ripped to shreds not by the undead, but by the very institutions that should be keeping it alive.
Written by Michael Vanderbilt. Narrated by Cap Blackard. Edited by Perry Froelich.