Son of Ingagi (1940)

Son of Ingagi is a somewhat stuffy all-black horror flick featuring somewhat stuffy newlywed couple Bob and Eleanor Lindsay (Alfred Grant and Daisy Bufford), who, besides having corny names and sleeping in separate beds, befriend lonely scientist Helen Jackson (Laura Bowman). As scientists tended to do in the 1940s, she holds an ape man-type beast named N’Gina (Zack Williams) in her basement, presumably from her last trip to Africa (It’s never really explained; maybe she needed someone to chip in on the rent.). As ape beasts tended to do in the 1940s, N’Gina ups and kills the scientist in a fit of rage.

Our happy couple then inherits the house and moves in; and the hijinks commence! Spencer Williams of Amos ‘n Andy fame wrote the film and is featured as a cop investigating Jackson’s death, but his attempts (really, just one attempt) at humor fall flat. You’d think he’d write himself a funnier part. While it avoids most of the cringe-worthy stereotypes of the more comedic horror films of the time, Son of Ingagi also lacks the energy and humor, leaving a dry husk of a story that feels longer than its 60-minute running time. Luckily, much of the film lacks dialogue, so you can just fast-forward through the action (or lack thereof).

Note: I’m assuming that the title is meant to tie this film to the exploitive 1931 jungle adventure flick Ingagi, which became a hit by promising to portray real African jungle women cavorting with gorillas, but which was exposed as a fraud shortly thereafter.

“Listen up, kids: That ‘hairy palm’ thing? No joke.”
“I-C-U-P…Ha ha. Very funny.” 
“I’ll smother you in your sleep.”
No one ever realized the genius of Claude’s “backwards camera” technique.


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