Oh, wow. One of the many production companies for this movie is Silvio Berlusconi Communications, which I can pretty safely assume is a company owned by Silvio Berlusconi, a long time prime minister of Italy with a – let’s say – problematic career.
Francesco Dellamorte is some sort of caretaker for a graveyard. He also lives at the cemetery, because his duties include killing all the people who rise from the dead within a week from their funeral. There he meets a woman, who is weirdly fascinated sexually by death. Her (much older) husband has just died, so she is hesitent to begin a relationship, but the two fall into one anyhow. After that, it starts to get weird.
We actually never learn why the zombies happen to rise from the dead specifically at this cemetery and it doesn’t really matter either. Francesco claims he was unable to find any other work despite a degree, but also seems to feel responsibility for the situation even if he talks a big game about leaving his work.
Francesco is weird character. He kills zombies, but is also in some ways boring. He reads phonebooks, spends most of his time just hanging around his graveyard and doesn’t have much to say. His name implies something different. His father was Dellamorte and his mother was Dellamore (as per the name) and while my Italian is not very good (or even bad), I know enough Latin to know that these mean ‘of death’ and ‘of love’ respectively (the title loses something in translation, to be sure). He is passionate and doesn’t really think about the consequences of his actions regarding the women he falls in love with.
On the other hand, at some point Grim Reaper instructs him not to mess with his flock, and he should start killing living people instead of corpses. Francesco doesn’t exactly listen in the sense that he keeps on killing the zombies, but also kills bunch of living people. The local detective won’t believe that he is the killer, no matter how strongly he claims to be. When he finally decides to leave the small town they inhabit for the first time in his life, he’s stopped by the road ending suddenly.
All this weirdness has resulted in speculation among fans that Francesco doesn’t actually exist (even in the world of the movie), but instead is a figment of another characters imagination. This would explain why things are not always very consistent or why the road out of town just stops (perhaps because the author of this tale doesn’t know any details about the world beyond). Maybe someone was tinkering with their fantasies while coming up with these stories. The first version is hardly ever satisfactory.
I don’t know if this was the intention or not. Still, it’s interesting if it was. You can look at the movie with fresh new eyes trying to find clues of this. It transforms from an absurdly weird story into something more understandable. On the other hand, I do feel that the speculation on this might have been born from the need to understand rather than actual basis for the theory or inability to enjoy such chaos.