Review: ‘The Romp’

If Beavis and Butt-head designed their own Web site, the result would probably resemble The Romp, Eric Eisner's lowest-common-denominator destination.

If Beavis and Butt-head designed their own Web site, the result would probably resemble The Romp, Eric Eisner’s lowest-common-denominator destination.

Interactive site “spotlights” crude, unfunny toons and shorts featuring, among other things, humping turtles and small mammals. And if the cruel animated ditties weren’t enough, there are plenty of looky-loo photos of babes in various stages of undress (billed as “Romp’s Girl of the Day”) to make parents wish their kids were not Internet savvy.

The revamped version of Romp, which debuted Aug. 1, has an easy-to-read home page, offering users a clean look at the options ahead. Browsers can select one of the day’s animated picks, videos, and games, and rate the content as they go along.

Among the Flash toons sampled, the cleanly drawn and executed “Booty Call” was the standout. The multipath adventure focuses on Jake, who is constantly trying to hook up with the ladies. Created and written by Cate MacManus and Julian Metter, the interactive toon lets the viewer decide how Jake is going to score. Regardless of whether the hero goes to Las Vegas, Jamaica, or a popular strip club, the goal is to get him some action.

Among the site’s most offensive offerings are “Tardz,” a toon billed as “the world of mentally challenged white-collar professionals as they navigate their way through the trials of everyday life,” and “Napster Bad, Money Good,” a hard-to-watch commentary on the war between rock stars and their teen fans, featuring very poor replicas of Sheryl Crow, Eminem and other music celebs.

One of the biggest draws of animation Web sites is the fact that they offer a venue for politically incorrect, topical, grass-roots humor. Yet, the sad truth about Romp is that although it desperately wants to be rebellious and witty, many of the amateurish efforts are simply not funny.

In the fun-and-games arena, Romp offers such enterprising time-killers as “Too Drunk to Piss,” where one has to aim for the toilet after consuming too much booze, and a “Celebrity Pinata,” where players get a chance to destroy pinatas shaped like Woody Allen, Celine Dion, and Joan and Melissa Rivers.

The site’s various other bonuses — “Call your favorite Romp Girl,” “Download strip poker for your Palm Pilot” — will certainly not go over well with the feminist community, but Michael Eisner’s son probably wasn’t worried about that particular demographic when he created “Mail a ready-to-blow ho to a friend.”

The Romp


Founders, Eric Eisner, Bruce Forman; Development Directors, Forman, Chad Hammes; Launch, May 2000


Rating: * *
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