Theatrical poster to Ingagi
William D. Alexander
Nat Spitzer (executive)
Charlie Gemora as Ingagi
March 15, 1930 (1930-03-15)
Ingagi is a lost 1930 Pre-Code exploitation film. It purports to be a documentary about “Sir Hubert Winstead” of London on an expedition to Africa, and depicts a tribe of gorilla-worshiping 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 white actresses in blackface in place of natives. It was produced and distributed by Nat Spitzer’s Congo Pictures, which had been formed expressly to make the film. Although marketed under the pretense of being an ethnographic film, the premise was a fabrication, leading the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association to retract any involvement with the film.
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 Ingagi where was shown, including one of the first, the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, where it opened April 5, 1930.
The later Son of Ingagi (1940) is not a sequel but is the first all-black cast horror movie and features a house haunted by a female mad scientist and her missing link monster.
^ Doherty. pgs. 236, 241
^ a b Illegitimate dad of ‘Kong’
^ Doherty. pgs. 238–40
^ Gerald Perry, “Missing Links: The Jungle Origins of King Kong”
Berenstein, Rhona J. “White Heroines and Hearts of Darkness: Race, Gender and Disguise in 1930s Jungle Films”, in Film History Vol. 6 No. 3 (Autumn 1994), Exploitation Films, pp. 314–339 (Published by Indiana University Press); Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3814926
Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-231-11094-4
Ingagi at the Internet Movie Database
Ingagi at AllMovie
Connection of the film to King Kong
Erish, Andrew (2006-01-09). “Illegitimate dad of ‘Kong'”.