Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Travis Beachman, Christopher J. Waild, Mark Freiburger
Mark Freiburger, Jahrman, Rick Eldridge
Will Patton, Richard Herd, Devon Gearhart, Colin Ford
As Phil Walden wanders the streets of his deserted hometown, the memories of a fateful childhood summer return. The summer he grew up. The summer that turned this once idyllic paradise upside down. The summer the stranger came to town. This stranger doesn't beg for change, peddle ointments or speak soothe, Eli Cottonmouth builds models - enchanting models, and this sleepy southern town will be the perfect subject. His charm bewitches the townsfolk. His intentions concern the town fathers. And his secrecy captivates two curious boys. As Eli works to re-create the true essence of the community, the boys act as his eyes and ears. Armed with his ancient camera, they snap vignettes of small town life. But, shot-by-shot, Eli changes the way they look at the town. Childish wonderment turns to despair as the boys' eyes open to the true nature of the world around them. That understanding, and Eli's hidden purpose, threaten the existence of the entire town.
The film, “Dog days of Summer”, features a mystery plot and has its dark moments. It deals strongly with human weakness and sin, and a lot of pain is included in the movie. Death is another prominent theme. A stranger moves to town, named Eli Cottonmouth, and he is hired by the town to create a special project for them. He keeps his work very secretive and some of the town people begin to pry out of curiosity. By film's end, they are stunned with what he has left behind for them, a model which is a mirror of their own sin.
The film does include a scene in which a pastor cries out to Jesus, and there is a brief scene with a sermon being delivered from 1 Corinthians chapter fifteen. The film speaks of the pain sin can cause but how redemption and forgiveness are available. The themes are mature and this film seems to be geared more toward an audience who enjoys dark mysteries. The character of Phil, who returns to the town and remembers the sadness of his youth, is a symbol of overcoming great pain and loss. This is a well-directed film with ominous settings and moods. We are pleased to award this film our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal.
Content Description: Sex: Husband and wife kiss; a single couple kiss; the pastor and a single woman kiss; a married woman places an ad to meet a single man and her husband shows up and they make up. Language: H-1 written on a sign; D-1; S*ck-1; OG-2; Shut-up-1; Jesus used in a prayer by man crying out for help Violence: Punk teenagers beat up an older man using bats and large sticks but he survives; a character throws things around in anger; a man pushes a woman down causing her to hit her head and die. Drugs: Adults shown drinking and smoking cigars; man shown smoking cigars; man offers a cigar to a young boy apparently in jest; man is shown very drunk and angry. Nudity: A character removes his shirt to jump in the water; cleavage. Other: Two Young boys sneak out at night; teen pregnancy; men shown gambling; a main character falls into river and drowns; the truth comes out about the father of a woman's baby; a story is told about a witch; a monster's hands grab at a character.