Ingagi

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Ingagi
Ingagi-movieposter-1930.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byWilliam S. Campbell
Written byAdam Shirk
Produced byWilliam D. Alexander
Nat Spitzer (executive)
StarringCharlie Gemora
CinematographyL. Gillingham
Music byEdward Gage
Production
company
Congo Pictures
Distributed byCongo Pictures
Release date
  • March 15, 1930 (1930-03-15)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$4 million

Ingagi is a 1930 Pre-Code mockumentary exploitation film directed by William S. Campbell. It purports to be a documentary about "Sir Hubert Winstead" of London on an expedition to the Belgian Congo, and depicts a tribe of gorilla-worshipping women encountered by the explorer. The film claims to show a ritual in which African women are given over to gorillas as sex slaves, but in actuality was mostly filmed in Los Angeles, using American actresses in place of natives.[1] It was produced and distributed by Nat Spitzer's Congo Pictures, which had been formed expressly for this production.[2] Although marketed under the pretense of being ethnographic, the premise was a fabrication, leading the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association to retract any involvement.[3]

The film trades heavily on its nudity and on the suggestion of sex between a woman and a gorilla. Its success motivated RKO Radio Pictures to invest in the 1933 film, King Kong.[citation needed] RKO owned several of the theatres where Ingagi was shown, including one of the first, the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, where it opened April 5, 1930.[2][4]

The 1940 film Son of Ingagi, while not a sequel, is the first all-African-American horror film and features a house haunted by a female mad scientist and her missing link monster.

The film was never lost, contrary to popular belief due to it long being unavailable on home video or television. Three nitrate prints are held at The Library of Congress.

Preservation[edit]

Seven of the eight Vitaphone discs have been found by fans and are now available on YouTube.[5] 96 seconds of the film are included in the documentary Charlie Gemora: Uncredited.[6]
In partnership with Something Weird Video, Kino Classics released a 4K restoration of the film on Blu-ray Disc on January 5, 2021.[7]

Reception[edit]

From retrospective reviews, Michael Atkinson reviewed the home video release in Sight & Sound. Atkinson found the film "distinctive for portending to be something it absolutely is not", noting the film contained several litany of large animals killed and butchered while it had "wall to wall" supremacist stereotypes while finding the footage taken from other films as uproarious.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Doherty. pgs. 236, 241
  2. ^ a b Illegitimate dad of 'Kong'
  3. ^ Doherty. pgs. 238–40
  4. ^ Gerald Perry, "Missing Links: The Jungle Origins of King Kong"
  5. ^ Ingagi 1930 Vitaphone Reel 1, Youtube. Accessed September 25, 2021
  6. ^ Charlie Gemora: Uncredited, full documentary at Youtube. Clips start at 17:39.Video accessed September 25, 2021
  7. ^ "Ingagi Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. November 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Atkinson 2021.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]