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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 
  • 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.
  • Speaking of hell, Hellboy!
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 be the epitome of Gothic Punk, at least in action flick form.
  • The movie adaptation of James O'Barr's The Crow comic exposed millions to the Gothic Punk aesthetic.
  • The Underworld (2003) films exemplify this trope so much that White Wolf accused the filmmakers of ripping off the Old World of Darkness.
  • The film Constantine features Keanu Reeves - as an exorcist/demon hunter who's out to save the world from a race of rampant hell-demons.
  • 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.


    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.
  • As mentioned above, White Wolf's World of Darkness setting both named and codified the genre.
  • 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 antiauthoritarian 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.

    Video Games 

    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.
  • 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.
  • Sekien no Inganock, a H-Game heavily influenced by this in conjunction with Steam Punk (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.

    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.


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