By Gregory Crofton
Can a movie about someone’s amputated right leg hold your interest for more than an hour? Almost, if it’s made by some talented filmmakers, as is the case with FINDERS KEEPERS co-directed by Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel.
Tweel was an associate producer of KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS (2007), one of the most watched docs of the last decade, and Carberry worked with Tweel on another doc MAKE BELIEVE (2010) about young magicians. Tweel is also finishing up work on a documentary about Steve Gleason, a New Orleans Saints football star who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2011.
FINDERS KEEPERS drops you into the lives of Shannon Whisnant, a South Carolina scavenger — a guy with a Sling-Blade voice and dying to be on television – who buys up the contents of unpaid storage sheds. And John Wood, the survivor of a small plane crash (piloted by his father) who is a middle-aged man with addictions to drugs and alcohol, which have shredded his relationships with his mother and sisters.
After Wood loses his leg in the plane crash that killed his father, for various reasons, he choose to keep the leg and preserve it with formaldehyde. He stashed it in a grill, which ends up in storage. Wood doesn’t pay the bill and Whisnant buys the contents of the locker. Directors Tweel and Carberry do an excellent job covering every angle of the story. They dig into the family history’s of both men, exploring Whisnant lust for fame and Wood’s addictions, but overall the story is just too lightweight of a subject for a feature film.
FINDERS KEEPERS is slickly made with a good soundtrack and quick but well-paced editing. If you do stumble into this film, it’s probably best watched with a group of friends or family. I rented my copy at a Redbox, but I’m sure it will end up on Netflix or Amazon Prime soon. Or you can find it here.