Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'The Spiders: Kino Classics Edition'
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“The Spiders: Kino Classics Edition”
Long before Steven Spielberg directed the globetrotting adventures of dashing archeologist Indiana Jones, the estimable German filmmaker Fritz Lang plotted out intriguing derring-do for a more-than-worthy predecessor named Kay Hoog, a high-society sportsman whose cliffhanging escapades are featured in “The Spiders,” due out on DVD Tuesday.
This 1919 silent is actually composed to two short featurettes from a series of four that Lang had planned. They focus on the exploits of Hoog (Carl de Vogt, whose stony countenance often earned comparisons with American cowboy star William S. Hart), a wealthy San Francisco adventurer who regularly crossed swords with a secret criminal cabal known as the Spiders.
The first adventure, titled “The Golden Lake,” takes Hoog to the jungles of Peru in pursuit of a hidden cache of Incan gold. There, he comes up against Spiders mastermind Lio Sha (Ressel Orla) as they clash with primitive tribesmen and fight off efforts to turn them into human sacrifices.
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