Whatever his reasons or intent, when the young man carrying a cello begins working at the old-folks home, he strikes up an acquaintance with the man known as "the Maestro" (Fernando Fernan Gomez), who is full of plans to produce a play based on a Caribbean love affair and adventure in his youth. As he listens to the old man's reminiscences of love, he thinks of his own girlfriend (both are played by Angela Molina). Eventually, the beloved eccentric's play is produced, accompanied by the boy's cello music.
Spoofing the entire 1940s detective genre, and his own performances as a bumbling private detective, Peter Falk plays Lou Pekinpaugh, a San Francisco private detective accused of murdering his partner at the instigation of his mistress, the partner's wife, Georgia Merkle.
During an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.