Finders Keepers (2015)

finders keepers poster 2015 leg documentary
8.5 Overall Score

Creepy and bizarre story

It is hard to put this documentary together without feeling that the people involved are being mocked

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Finders Keepers

Studio:  Firefly Theater & Films

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 27, 2015 (Sundance Film Festival)

MPAA Rating:  R


Yeah…let’s take this to reality TV to get it settled…good call

Shannon Whisnant buys a storage unit with a grill inside and inside that grill is a leg.  The leg belongs to a drug abuser named John Wood who lost the leg in an accident that killed his father.  Both Shannon and John are thrust into the spotlight when Shannon refuses to return the leg, and a legal battle ensues.  As Shannon strives for fame as “the Leg Man”, John tries to keep his life from spiraling out of control as his drug addiction reaches new levels.

Directed by Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel, Finders Keepers is a documentary film based on the true discovery of a mummified foot in a storage shed.  The case led to a very strange legal battle which gained international attention and ended up playing out on Judge Mathis.  The film was released at Sundance to positive reviews.


You want to look but you also want to look away…

I didn’t see any of the coverage about the original case when it was occurring and instead learned about the story from the release of this documentary.  As a fan of The King of Kong:  A Fistful of Quarters (the makers of that film were involved here as well), Finders Keepers followed in the line of that documentary and this film took a similar tone.

The movie is tough because you have two people with problems as the “heroes” of the film.  One was abused as a child, suffers from delusions of grandeur, and behaves badly.  The other was raised spoiled, suffered a tragedy, and allowed drugs to rule his life and relationships.  The movie shows a bit of reversal of fortunes for both Shannon and John by the end of the movie and one character changes for the better…the other does not.


Please, please, please look at me…I’m famous

As with all documentaries, you don’t know what has been edited for the movie.  With both this documentary and The King of Kong, I have a real feeling despite what has been edited out, Shannon and John are very much like they are portrayed.  It is difficult however because of the situation and the behavior of all those involved not to making this into a laughing matter by portraying them as low intelligence.

Finders Keepers does have winners and losers however.  Shannon comes off as an ass despite his trouble childhood.  He looks like a jealous bully who believes he is smarter and funnier than he actually is (and less self-aware like Billy Mitchell of The King of Kong).  With his appearance on a reality TV show within the film, you see he is capable of lying for the cameras…so you never can be sure if he learned any lessons as he claims at the end of the film.

Finders Keepers is just a bad situation all around.  Hanging onto the past is dangerous as the movie proves and profiting off of others (literally) can be harmful to relationships.  The documentary is smart and put together well…if you want a truly strange story check out Finders Keepers.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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