I don't know the context, I just know it is a line from a Groucho Marx's movie.
Let's see it this way:
G. M. tries to count pulses from the wrist of a guy he found on the floor, and his count is just zero;
he could logically say:
"Either this man is dead or time has stopped "
Wait a minute: would you expect 100 % logic from Groucho Marx ?
So the line is a little bit twisted, but -- I guess -- even better.