“Oh, big American cock. Can’t get enough.” This line, uttered by Keeani Lei, opens Screwing Asia, and it does the job of summarizing Frank Marks’ grim depiction of race relations in the U.S. The film cannot, by any measure, be considered a high-quality endeavor, but it does have some fascinating moments that manage to simultaneously undermine and support Marks’ filmic treatise.
In fact, the only actor who really gets in on Marks’ ethnocentrism is Keeani Lei. Affecting a ridiculous, stereotypical accent and a high-pitched squeal, she shouts borderline offensive lines like “Big American cock in my tiny pussy!” and “You’re fucking me!” The other actors each speak relatively perfect, unaccented English—coming across as normal women taking part in an industry they enjoy. They use Marks’ own gonzo style against him in the occasional interview segments and during the sex scenes themselves—rather than squealing, most remain silent. Rather than answering the dumb interview questions with dumb answers, they consider each inquiry with a level of seriousness not often found in an industry known primarily for lowbrow plotting and uncontrolled giggling.
This exploration is marred by Marks’ uneven employment of the interviewing tactic. In the first scene, Gianna Lynn provides a lengthy interview—twice! One has her speaking politely, in black-and-white, and it’s intercut with the other, in which she is more explicit and her partner, Reno, lies nude in the background. The second scene drops the interview portion altogether, but it returns in the third scene without the avant-garde cutting between two different interviews. It disappears in scene four but returns in the final scene. Marks might have a method to his madness—perhaps trying to switch up every other scene so as to prevent boredom—but it comes across as a lazy, poorly planned narrative device.
On the subject of poorly planned narratives, Screwing Asia‘s scene work leaves a lot to be desired. With the exception of Lei’s high-spirited scene with Lee Stone II, many of these partners make love in complete silence. There’s none of the usual moaning and groaning, very little talking—they just do their thing, and then they’re done. And scene! Because of the quick fades and the emphasis on sexual situations, I had a feeling that perhaps introductions and tags had been shot for each scene but cut in the editing stage. If that were the case, wouldn’t it have included the usual ad-libbed dialogue referring back to the scene setup? Perhaps the folks at Featherbrain Post removed such lines, which could explain why the scenes seem more silent than usual…
Or maybe this is another layer of Marks’ bleak commentary on the white man’s relation to Asiatic temptresses. These men and women come together, in more ways than one, but they have nothing in common. They have nothing to say to one another. They stir no real passion in one another—merely the usual manimal lust provoked by the superficial differences in appearance and culture. Once they have coupled, they go their separate ways. In Marks’ world, mixed marriages cannot exist; if they do, they cannot work. With such an uncomfortable, iconoclastic viewpoint, is it any wonder that Visage Films held up this film’s release for two years and essentially blacklisted Marks within the industry?
Despite his intriguing sense of politics, I can’t recommend Screwing Asia. It’s too much a mess and Marks tries too hard to frame the film to his point of view, shoving the political statement down our unwilling throats, leaving the audience to do little more than gag and choke.