Romero himself, directing in the chaos of the decaying television station.
One of the things that made DAWN so different from the much of the other horror that preceded it was the imagined meltdown of all civilization, particularly the highly-technical sort of civilization that required a high degree of upkeep and infrastructure. This got explored as a theme in a lot of the after-the-bomb movies that ran as a cold undercurrent in the fifties and sixties, giving way to man-made dystopias in the early seventies.
But in terms of framing this as a horror movie gone worldwide, Romero took it in a different direction (albeit inspired by Matheson’s I AM LEGEND, which is recommended on its own merits as much as fitting within the whole literature of eschatology.)
I spent October 2012 talking about DAWN OF THE DEAD. I may or may not try to do something similar with another Romero film this year. Here’s all twenty nine pages of posts from back then (and a few cleanup pieces.)