The never-released, undiscovered final feature film from legendary director Paul Bartel.
Tina, Pam, and Scotty are taken down into Mom and Dad’s well-stocked bomb shelter when Kennedy is assassinated in 1963…and they never come out. Thirty years later, Mom and Dad are a long-dead 'bag of bones' and the now-grown kids have created a life for themselves based on remnants from the 60's, intermittent output from the TV and their wild imaginations.
A dark comedy based upon a theatrical production of the same name, Shelf Life was conceived and written by O-Lan Jones, Andrea Stein and Jim Turner as a result of their rumination on what must become of people boxed in tiny spaces for long, long periods of time.
Director Paul Bartel saw the closing night performance of the play in 1992 and within six weeks they had begun shooting the film, complete with a fully fabricated fallout shelter on the stages of CFI in Hollywood.
Despite a strong festival run and many positive reviews, Shelf Life ultimately remained unreleased and sadly never found the audience it deserved. After decades underground, the last remaining 35mm print has been uncovered at the film archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and it is in bad shape. Our goal is to create a digital restoration from the original 35mm negative and release the film in time for its 25th Anniversary.