- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Tinted
- Released: February 28, 2012
- Originally Released: 1919
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 11/08/1979
Description by OLDIES.com:
Fritz Lang's Spiders is about the adventures of high-society adventurer Kay Hoog (Carl de Vogt, whose gaunt, expressionless face resembles a younger William S. Hart) and his arch nemesis, a secret criminal organization known as the Spiders. Part 1 ("The Golden Lake") is a treasure hunt that takes both Kay and Spiders mastermind Lio Sha (Ressel Orla) to Peru, where they battle primitive Incas (who capture Lio for a human sacrifice) and each other for a fortune in hidden gold. Part 2 ("The Diamond Ship") is a longer and far more intricate conspiracy involving a hidden criminal underground beneath the streets of Chinatown, a legendary lost jewel known as the Buddha Head Diamond, and an ambitious plot to rule all of Asia. Full of secret passages, coded messages, treasure maps, double-crosses, and death-defying escapes, Lang's pulpy action-fantasy borrows from the wacky serials of Louis Feuillaude (notably the deliriously entertaining Les Vampires). But behind the wild plots, gorgeous sets, and driving, breakneck-paced direction lies a dark undercurrent of death and doom that transforms his gallant hero into a brooding, vengeful spirit.
Marrying war time climate of fear and subterfuge with the period fascination with exotic plots and locations, Fritz Lang took the favored genre of cliffhanger serials and crafted a complex tale of international intrigue and mystical espionage. A dazzling serial adventure complete with Inca treasure, human-sacrifice, wild chases and close calls, this early work inspired the "Indiana Jones" films sixty years later. Kay Hoog the Indiana Jones-like wealthy playboy adventurer jets off to Mexico after finding a treasure map inside a bottle and is closely followed by secret crime underground, The Spiders, led by beautiful and seductive Lio Sha. From hot air balloon escapes, to sub-aquatic lakes of gold, Lang utilized all of his visual and narrative skills to create a compelling series of adventures. As the first part climaxes, the genre shifts dramatically to a western and sees the protagonist on horseback desperately trying to flee Mexico with the sun priestess. An early glimpse into Lang's themes of secret societies and the intersection between crime, morality and mysticism, Part I of THE SPIDERS, is a seminal example of early film and a precursor of Lang's seminal crime films of the 30's through the sixties.
Legendary directors Lang's (METROPOLIS, M) earliest surviving feature is an INDIANA JONES prototype and concerns the plot of a secret organization to steal the gold of the dying Inka race. Kay Hoog, an intrepid adventurer and yachtsman, finds a note in a bottle from a Harvard anthropologist asking for help. Hoog soon figures out who is after the Inka's gold and is going toe to toe with the nefarious and sexy Lio Sha in no time. This film was Lang's first popular success and boasts the pre CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI set design of Hermann Warm.
- SPIDERS was filmed in Berlin in 1919.
- SPIDERS was released in Germany in February 1920.
- Fritz Lang had originally been assigned to direct THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGAR but could not because he was busy making SPIDERS.
- There were two projected sequals to THE SPIDERS only the THE DIAMOND SHIP was filmed, even though Lang had already written the scripts for both.