Ingagi (1930)

Genres - Adventure  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Ingagi was one of the most outrageous hoaxes ever perpetrated upon a gullible movie public. Assembled by a fly-by-night firm called Congo Pictures Ltd., the film purported to be a documentary about the ritual sacrifice of Congolese native girls to an "ape god." Virtually naked, the sacrificial maiden is carried off into the jungle by a huge, almost human ape, presumably for purposes of procreation. The rest of the film deals with the efforts by white hunters to kill the ape without hurting the girl. The "authenticity" of this project was vouched for by someone calling himself Sir Hugo Winstead of London, who appears in the film's prologue. Upon its initial release, Ingagi was swallowed whole by audiences everywhere; even the otherwise cynical trade publication Variety accepted the film as fact. Only when a few sharp-eyed industryites recognized the lead native girl as a well-known Hollywood extra did the deception begin to unravel. Soon it was revealed that Ingagi was filmed in its entirety in California, that its scenes of marauding wildlife were lifted from previous documentaries, and that the titular ape-man was actually portrayed by famed simian impersonator Charles Gemora! With threats of legal action ringing in their ears, the distributors of Ingagi quickly withdrew the film from circulation, but not before posting a handsome profit. The 1940 all-black horror film Son of Ingagi was in no way a remake.

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Keywords

filmmaker, purity, con/scam, sacrifice