I was expecting pretty much nothing from SHELF LIFE... and, surprisingly, I got a lot more out of it. For a shot-on-video shoe-string production I must say this one didn't waste my time. Why? Because the film-makers really made an effort on mostly all levels. It looks a bit cheap, sometimes, but the camera-moves are there (well, most of the time, at least). Director/producer/writer Mark Tuit even wrote a rather interesting story too (a different take on vampires). Decent enough camera-work throughout most of the movie (even though in some scenes Mark Tuit tends to make his shots a bit too long, if you ask me - a little faster cutting could have made the film benefit from it, especially in the conversation scenes). Now, you will have to get passed the below-par acting from the whole cast, although you can clearly see they really gave it their best shot. Always applaudable, and they're certainly not the worst actors ever. William MacDonald - as said before in other comments on here - did a pretty neat job portraying Martin, the vampire hunter (our should I say: parasite hunter...?) with a nasty drug habit. If you can dig the semi-philosophical utterings & quotes coming from him, you can certainly find an added value in this movie (which I kinda did - although he did do it a lot, making the movie suffer a bit from overly long talkative scenes). Bryce McLaughlin, on the other hand, couldn't convince at all, I'm sad to say. But like I said, you can tell he tried.
Then there's the gore & blood effects. The movie isn't really stuffed with them, but when they do come on, they don't skimp on it . You also won't see the best prosthetic cut-off heads ever or the best splatter-effects (because of budget-restrictions, I'm guessing, not lack of talent or creativity), but the way it was all executed, worked very well. So, in short: Interesting story, fun occasional gore-effects, below-par acting, decent camera-work & directing (some inventive shots even, mostly involving effects), the music is a hit & miss - I'm talking about all the songs coming from various bands here, not the orchestrated score - (and they just used too much of it throughout the movie, in my opinion), cheapie look & feel sometimes (but that's forgivable). Also worth a look are some of the features on the extra's menu. I quite enjoyed the alternative opening sequences and there's also a split-screen version of a scene already in the movie (including extra footage), giving more background info on the main character Martin. I would have loved seeing that 'split-scene' in the movie. It worked very well, and as far as 'experimental story-telling' goes, it would have fitted perfectly in a low-budget production like this.
I can imagine some people might find this little film pretty boring or something. So it's not for all tastes. But nevertheless, I actually could take it seriously. So... Tired of big budget blockbuster horror? Searching for something that's a little different? You might want to consider giving SHELF LIFE (aka SUBHUMAN) a try.