Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Get Involved, Internet: emThe King Of Kong/em producer is trying to make a doc about a long-lost severed limb

Every day, the Internet gods choose a handful of weird news stories to become viral hits, from burglars leaving their wallets at the scene of the crime to the latest squirrel- or monkey-related assault. It's easy to forget in the midst of such endless amusement that there are still real people behind these stories whose lives may or may not have been profoundly affected.

One such story that caught in the Internet's attention in 2007 involved John Wood, a man who lost a leg in a plane crash and kept the severed limb preserved in a barbecue smoker. The smoker (complete with leg) was left in a storage unit to await Wood’s eventual cremation, but it was eventually sold at auction to Shannon Whisnant after Wood failed to keep up with the payments. It got stranger when Whisnant decided to turn the leg and smoker into a tourist attraction that made both men celebrities and sparked a dispute the leg's true owner, according to the New York Times.

Director Ed Cunningham, one of the filmmakers behind The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters and the Oscar-winning sports documentary Undefeated, wants to turn Wood and Whisnant's stories into a documentary film called Finders Keepers, and he needs at least $80,000 to finish it. He started working on the film six years ago, according to his Kickstarter pitch, but the funding ran out and he was forced to abandon it. Now he hopes he can bring these "larger-than-life characters" to next year's Sundance Film Festival and beyond. It's such a tempting and moving story that I refuse to class it down with a tasteless "costing an arm and a leg" reference, even though I kind of just did that.

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