Sunday Matinee – Son of Ingagi

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet Archive, I have another oddity form the public domain for you, girls and boys. Today’s feature is Son of Ingagi (1940) which is listed as being the first science fiction horror film with an “all black cast.” It was released by Sack Amusements, a company that specialized in what were known as race films. They made the films cheaply with a specific audience in mind, and I imagine that prints of the film bounced around theaters for years.

The other oddity about this film is that the mad scientist is a woman. She keeps a missing link monster in her basement which is a little disappointing compared to the creepy silhouette featured on the poster. Outside of Universal’s stable of classic monsters, most monsters in movies looked like they were thrown together in 15 minutes.

The title is a lift from the notorious Ingagi (1930) which was sold as a record of an expedition to the Congo where a gorilla worshiping tribe was uncovered. The film turned out to be a fake with children playing a tribe of pygmys, men in gorilla costumes and African locations shot in Los Angeles. The film caused an outrage, but it ended up taking in an astronomical $4,000,000. In classic exploitation film fashion, the Son movie hoped to cash in on the notoriety of the earlier film.

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