It’s been exciting to follow Bryan Xin’s recent career as a skin-lenser, as he has moved into a primary slot at gonzo start-up Pulse Pictures. His first two productions – Cheek Freaks and Naturally Stacked – were upscaled versions of the two lines Xin was best known for at DVSX. But PervAsian is a fresh departure: an Asian girl title that, as far as I know, is the only Asian girl title in porn actually masterminded by an Asian. The niche is a choppy (not chop-socky) one at best, but has been growing as more starlets of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Korean and other nationalities pour into the business. (Though, let’s face it, most of the girls who claim the heritage grew up in Orange County not Osaka – but as porn critic Roger T. Pipe observes in a brief Q&A included on the bonus disc, it’s refreshing to see an Asian flick where the girls are all actually Asian and not, say, Mexican or Puerto Rican). The field is nailed down at one end of the spectrum by Jules Jordan (InvAsian, though almost any of his titles will feature Asian girls in at least one scene) and by David Aaron Clark (Azn Superidols, etc.) at the other. Basically, slick gonzo with an impressive degree of choreographed tease and costuming with plasma screens in the background vs. grittier gonzo with the loose, spontaneous feel of a home movie. Xin is definitely in the high style mode, though his generous approach to backstage chatter on the bonus disc allows for a little J-Girl Confidential.
What rocks is how Xin carves his own groove: he excels at tease, the key to any good porn, and a quality that animates every scene here. The intros are priceless. Each of the girls wears a T-shirt with an innuendo gracing the front (“Two Boys for Every Girl,” or “There’s a lot of me to go around”), and receives a gently probing cameltoe inspection or molestation-by-plushtoy that eases (and arouses) the viewer into the pending action. Bryan himself breaks the “fourth wall,” reaching into the frame to fondle cookie and tit, but unlike most shooter-directors does not indulge in any POV “freebies” or (given the theme) go all Toshiro Mifune with a savage whirling fuckstick in place of a samurai’s blade. (I do, however, anxiously await the introduction of Valium gas and live octopi in a future PervAsian, unless either are forbidden under California law.)
Anyhoo, the set-ups establish what I would call the “closed system” of a Xin joint. The Panasonic camera lends that smooth “film-look,” and thoughtful deployment of framing and setting softens the glaring edge common to “yellow-couch porn,” and eliminates a good bit of that déjŕ vu feeling you get after watching too much smut. Even though he seems to be using some familiar houses in these scenes, they look different. Also, the angles are consistently well-crafted (often from what must be tiring low crouches that give the oral sequences an extra slurp of versimilitude). The effect is like watching a movie, not a video, and while this loses some of the “News at 11” graphic punch of art-free gonzo efforts, it’s also what will keep you coming back to replay certain chapters again and again. There’s very little that’s “disposable” about PervAsian. Like Jonni Darkko (and Jules as well), Xin has a knack for getting you to look at certain girls you never noticed much before and making you fall in love with them. (For me, here, it’s Nyomi Zen in the epic – like a whole fucking hour epic – scene that highlights Disc 2; even though she’s not a wildcat, her succession of encounters with three different male stars sneaks up on you with an erotic force that derives its power from Nyomi’s passivity; she’s got a real OG geisha vibe – and, hell yeah, some killer blowjob footage). Because of this, his DVDs have a hefty shelf factor. The premium packaging from Pulse, with the extra-sized thick plastic casing and classy cover art, highlights the value-for-cost aspects, just as the two discs inside deliver more content than you would easily absorb in one or two sittings.
Though it seems as if every hot new Asian girl is immediately cast in 27 “yellow fever”-type productions, most of the cast here was new to me. Keanni Lei, especially, steals the show with her wacky personality and bug-eyed sexual aggression. She’s so tiny, yet so formidable – and can discourse rather comprehensively on the merits of anime , as she does backstage in the BTS. Like one of Takashi Murakami’s “DOB” creatures, she’s kawaii, but with teeth (teeth that Brian Surewood and his fellow woodsman give a firm brushing with their cocks in the DVD’s most, er, visceral and goo-drenched scene).
Uncommonly, the bonus disc is at least half the show. There’s a 23-minute hookup with Lucy Lee and Kurt Lockwood (which uses the teddy bear theme redeemed in the main disc’s scene with classy Kaiya Lynn) that suddenly goes wrong. It’s a fairly aggressive bout, and Lee gives hints of displeasure before whatever happens happens. She’s known for a bad temper and Lockwood always drives his scenes pretty hard, so who knows? It’s funny, though: Compared to the rest of the movie, this scratched episode is the least interesting, most formulaic encounter. Gonzo by the numbers, really. Well-shot and “performed,” but kind of airless. Maybe it would have helped if I really enjoyed watching either talent. (I’m hit or miss with Lockwood, but Lee does zilch for me). Kudos to Xin for leaving it in. It’s good for context, as is the regular BTS footage, which shows cast/crew interaction before and after the scenes. ( (The lovely Sunchen is heard, but not seen -- unless you count her pimp hand). The transparency --OK, here’s how we do it, folks-- nicely offsets the stylization of the actual scenes.
Here’s hoping Xin can continue his run. PervAsian is his best yet.