1 October 2005 | Cineanalyst
This "Spiders" sequel, "The Diamond Ship", is just as ridiculous and sensational as the series's first part. The rich adventurer continues in his pursuit of the criminal gang, the Spiders, who are after a diamond that's linked with Asian independence, leading the protagonist into a world of espionage, kidnapping and to a subterranean Chinatown.
Fritz Lang continues to copy other filmmakers, including Louis Feuillade. An early scene in this film is, I think, evident of Fritz Lang's poor direction at this early point in his career: the overhead shot of a bank robbery, with no ceiling, was done better by Maurice Tourneur in "Alias Jimmy Valentine" (1915). With Tourneur, it was an innovative, well-photographed scene, but with Lang, it's derivative and poorly done. It's the same with the rest of this two-part series; there's some technical skill, but it's all inferior duplication of other films and serials. Lang would become a great director, but that didn't begin here. And, German silent cinema would be one of the greatest periods in film history, but "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) is still the beginning of that. "The Spiders" is merely what everyone else had already been doing... often better.