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Gothic Punk

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A place which is like the modern-day real world, only a lot more goth. Various supernatural creatures control the world just below the surface, treating humans as cattle at best, and vermin at worst. There's also usually pandemic angst.

The term was coined in the first edition rulebook for White Wolf's Tabletop Game Vampire: The Masquerade, and has since been applied not only to The World of Darkness series as a whole, but also to many other works that are similar in tone.

If a film takes place in a Gothic Punk setting, expect its soundtrack to include something by either Trent Reznor or Danny Elfman.

If this takes place 20 Minutes into the Future, and with more robots, it's Cyberpunk. See also Urban Fantasy.



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    Comic Books 
  • The Crow is certainly the Trope Codifier in this genre, if not the Ur-Example itself. It differs from most Gothic-Punk settings in that the main evil in this setting is human, and the primary supernatural element of the story (the title bird and the revenant avenger) is on the side of the angels.
  • Hack/Slash combines the sensibility with 80s Slasher movies.
  • A literal combination of British punk and magic is the Hellblazer series.
  • Speaking of hell, Hellboy!
  • Lucifer is a lot more punk, exploring what it means to be in rebellion against an omnipotent omniscient being and whether that's futile.
  • As a work that uses tropes from many horror subgenres, it's only natural that Spawn is this, too.
  • Sort of played in the comic Witchblade. Although New York in the comics is a big, shiny, towering metropolis, evil still manages to lurk deep inside the dark sewers and alleys.
  • Played with in Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth where the book invokes the attitudes of the tabletop game but also acknowledges it's been twenty years since the game's heyday. Its protagonist, Cecily Bain, is a former Riot Grrrl who bemoans most of her former colleagues are either old or soccer moms even on the youngest side. Even so, it's still a bright pair of modern cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul) full of vampires preying on an unsuspecting populace.

  • As the name implies, Gotham City in most of its incarnations, especially within the live-action Batman movies. Both the city and its protector serve as a contrast to the lively, sometimes World of Tomorrow, city of Metropolis. "Gotham" is actually an old name for New York, first used by Washington Irving.
    • It's sometimes suggested that Gotham is basically New York at night, and Metropolis NY during the day. Tim Burton's take on the franchise played this trope to the hilt, naturally. Batman Begins downplayed it significantly and The Dark Knight and onwards did away with it altogether, with Gotham becoming a thinly disguised DC Universe equivalent of Chicago.
  • The Blade Trilogy, with its Dhampyr protagonist and its secret societies of vampires, is the quintessential action movie form of this aesthetic.
  • Constantine (2005) features Keanu Reeves as an exorcist/demon hunter who's out to save the world from a race of rampant hell-demons.
  • The movie adaptation of James O'Barr's The Crow comic exposed millions to the Gothic Punk aesthetic.
  • Daybreakers takes place in a 20 Minutes into the Future Earth where the vast majority of the humanity has been turned into vampires. Cue angsting teens, kiosks serving blood coffee, windowless buildings, cars with UV-proof black windows, lots and lots of blue lighting and pretty much everyone dressing in black.
  • The Underworld (2003) films exemplify this trope so much that White Wolf accused the filmmakers of ripping off the Old World of Darkness.

  • Anne Rice and her myriad literary successors. Notably, this mostly shows up in the epilogue to The Vampire Lestat and later novels set in the modern day versus the ones beforehand for obvious reasons.
  • The Anita Blake books are set in a world with a Broken Masquerade where vampires operate nightclubs, churches, and other institutions in the United States.
  • The Blackthorn series by Lindsay J. Pryor combines Paranormal Romance with repressive social models, Gothic nightclubs, and corrupt officials.
  • The Dresden Files books and tv series. The books skirt the line between action horror and Urban Fantasy with the main difference being Harry has the power to punch out the horrifying monsters around him.
  • The Jane Yellowrock series has a similar set up to the Anita Blake series where vampires are living openly among human beings but only barely tolerated.
  • Simon R. Green's Nightside series is like a more upbeat Hellblazer.
  • The Pretty When She Dies series by Rhiannon Frater has a vampire necromancer protagonist living in the modern world while struggling with her condition.
  • The Shadowspawn by S. M. Stirling.
  • The United States of Monsters novels by C.T. Phipps are a Gothic Punk Shared Universe where the protagonists are all supernaturals living in a Broken Masquerade world. They tend to be snarky, sarcastic Rebellious Spirit characters fighting against both corrupt governments and evil demons. The center of this world is New Detroit, which has been rebuilt as a vampire utopia.
  • Vampirocracy, in which vampires have taken over the world and are running it better than humans did.
  • We Walk the Night is a deliberate homage to the genre. The secret Order of Kresnik has, for centuries, formed pacts with powerful animal spirits in order to hunt vampires.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The plane of Innistrad mostly seems like a typical Gothic Horror setting, except that the zombies that constantly menace the populace are the product of mad biologists' experiments with the nature of life and death. A few cards suggest that technology and science are deceptively advanced given the generally-grim atmosphere throughout.
  • The New World of Darkness, by contrast, has taken a deliberate step back from this, or perhaps evolved to Post-Gothic-Punk. The constant angsting has been seriously dialed back, though it still exists in places, and replaced with more of A World Half Full vibe. Furthermore, the anti-authoritarian message spread loud and clear across the very fabric of existence in the oWoD is gone, since the writing staff consider the over-politicization of the former line to have been detrimental to the final product.
  • The definite example of this, but Recycled IN SPACE!, is Warhammer 40,000. The language the Imperium speaks is both High and Low Gothic and much of the architecture is in the Gothic style. Even major battleships are in the same vaulted style.
  • As mentioned above, White Wolf's World of Darkness setting both named and codified the genre.

    Video Games 
  • While the original Blood was straight-up Gothic horror, Blood 2: The Chosen takes place in a future featuring a corporate-looking cult that runs around in hoverjets.
  • Bloodborne is a mixture of this, Gaslamp Fantasy, and Cosmic Horror Story.
  • This is the genre of Bloodrayne and its sequels. It is especially prevalent in the second installment that takes place in the modern day.
  • Dark was an attempt to re-bottle the success of Bloodlines and failed. Eric Bane is a newly turned vampire trying to find a vampire strong enough to eat in order to solidify his transformation.
  • Dark Watch is a combination of this and Steampunk.
  • The Devil May Cry series is a wonderful example of the genre with Dante being definitely a rebellious spirit, but it's not until DmC: Devil May Cry that the punk aspect takes centre stage.
  • The latter half of Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption is set during the modern era where you are a 800 year old vampire knight.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines provides a great translation of this trope into video game form.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Nasuverse. Tsukihime is this moreso than Fate/stay night, although the Heaven's Feel route of the latter dabbles in it what with Kotomine attempting to unleash Angra Mainyu, an unstoppable world-ending Eldritch Abomination that most people may know better as Ahriman.
  • In Red Embrace: Hollywood, a lengthy homage to Bloodlines, you are a newly-embraced vampire struggling to survive a conflict between vampire houses. It is notably set in Hollywood.
  • Sekien no Inganock, a H-Game heavily influenced by this in conjunction with Steampunk (a rare example that is combined with that trope). Basically, every characters in the game is seeped with gothic drawings, clothes and personality. The protagonist constantly have to slay monsters with his trusty companion spirit. The tone... angsty enough that it makes the daily life looks sad.
  • Umineko: When They Cry can be considered this. It's set in the 1980s, but there's definitely a lot more emphasis on the "gothic" than the "punk", taking many plot elements from 18th and 19th-century Gothic novels.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York, you are a newly turned vampire who must build an alliance of other vampires to protect yourself from the intrigues around you.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Arthur with "Dark Bunny," a caped crusader who fights crime in "a city that's always nighttime". "Dark Bunny" is a parody of Batman.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Fractured", after being endowed with reality-bending abilities, the grunge biker boy Johnny Rancid Gothic Punk-ifies Jump City, much to Raven's delight and later regret, after they've saved the day.