Shelf Life starts as two young female Vampire like parasites named April (Erika Conway) & Amy (Heather Keetbaas) picking a guy named Duncan (Craig March) up in a bar, they entice him into an alley outside where they are about to drink his blood when monster hunter Martin (William MacDonald) suddenly pops up & cuts one of the Vampire creatures head off & runs after the other although during the pursuit Martin is hit by a car driven by a young couple named Ben (Bryce McLaughlin) & Julie (Courtney Kramer). They take Martin back to their apartment where he tells them that he hunts these Vampirie type creatures down & kills them by decapitation. Of course neither Ben or Julie believe a word of it until they see proof with their own eyes, now Ben & Julie must become like Martin & battle these creatures to stay alive & protect the human race, a human race who are blind to their very existence...
This Canadian production was written, co-executive produced, co-produced & directed by Mark Tuit who also has a small role in the film, personally I thought it was OK & something a bit different. The script takes itself extremely seriously & moves along at a fair pace although the basic concept of a secret society of Vampires & creatures feeding on human blood is not a new one but the basic story is a little different as Ben & Julie are introduced into a world they never knew existed, a savage world & a world from which they will never be able to leave. The end where Martin hands the job over to Ben is rather predictable. Shelf Life is a sort of low budget Blade (1998) but that's where the similarities start & finish, a very low budget Blade & the parasite creatures have a tongue like thing that shoots out of their mouth which resembles those the Reaper Vampires have in Blade II (2002). The action scenes are tame, the gore is alright but hardly realistic & I'm not sure why so much emphasis is given to the taking of drugs & alcohol as that seems to be all Martin ever does & a large portion of the story is about drugs & people getting high. Maybe the filmmakers were trying to say something about drugs in todays society, or maybe they weren't. I thought it was an OK way to pass the time but nothing outstanding.
Director Tuit likes to have Martin talk total nonsense, some of the lines he comes out with have to be heard to be believed. The obvious low budget hampers things, the action scenes aren't exciting, it isn't scary & there aren't any shocks plus there's a complete lack of atmosphere. The CGI effects are kept to a minimum which was a wise decision considering how poor they are. There are a few decapitations, a Shogun Assassin (1980) inspired scene when two people have their feet severed at the ankle & fair amount of spurting blood but it all looked a bit fake & had little impact as far as I'm concerned. There are certainly gorier films out there.
Technically Shelf Life is a pretty poor film & has low production values, has a bland unlikable look to it & is all rather forgettable. The special effects are not too convincing. The acting was OK considering, MacDonald as Vampire hunter Martin was pretty intense & those two Vampire birds at the start were pretty hot. Most of the character's in Shelf Life are very unlikable.
Shelf Life, a title which refers to the life expectancy of one of these Vampire hunters, was an OK watch & I have to give the filmmakers some credit for a vaguely interesting story & trying something different. Worth a watch if you like these low budget independent shot-on-video horror films but for those with slightly more demanding tastes I'd give it a miss.
Review by poolandrews from the Internet Movie Database.