|Directed by||William S. Campbell|
|Written by||Adam Shirk|
|Produced by||William D. Alexander|
Nat Spitzer (executive)
|Music by||Edward Gage|
|Distributed by||Congo Pictures|
|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. It was produced and distributed by Nat Spitzer's Congo Pictures, which had been formed expressly for this production. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Seven of the eight Vitaphone discs have been found by fans and are now available on YouTube. 96 seconds of the film are included in the documentary Charlie Gemora: Uncredited.
In partnership with Something Weird Video, Kino Classics released a 4K restoration of the film on Blu-ray Disc on January 5, 2021.
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 a 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.
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