Halloween Report: Gorlesque Media Night

We’re currently hard at work on coverage about Gorlesque, the new Halloween event that held its media preview night in downtown Los Angeles on Monday. But with the actual debut taking place tonight, we wanted to offer a brief rundown of what haunt-seekers can expect. Since what we saw was basically a dress rehearsal, not a final product, don’t consider this more a preview than a review.

As you can probably guess from the name, Gorlesque offers a combination of gore and burlesque. But wait – there’s more! In a sly joke, the walk-through begins like a spoof of Scientology, as guests enter the Weltschmerz institute, whose founders include a former sci-fi writer who signs his name with a first initial (a la L. Ron Hubbard). In the reception room, an officious lady (dressed in a blue uniform – another nod to Scientology) extols the virtues of Dr. Weltschmerz’s quest for perfection – perfection which the institute promises to bestow on those who complete its program.

The control-freak mannerisms and cult-like devotion of the introduction are exposed as a misleading facade: the institute’s program consists of perverse scenes involving surgery, makeup, and wardrobe designed to mold its followers into what resemble performers in a demented cabaret act. Cross-dressing and castration are on the menu, and if you’re a lucky guy you might get to dance with a hot chick in a bustier. The approach is more interactive than jump-scare, with the inmates or attendants (it’s hard to tell which) contemptuously confronting the new recruits (“This is what they send me? I’m supposed to craft perfection from this?”). The walk-through took about 15-20 minutes, though that may expand as the performances are honed.

In its preview form, Gorlesque was more outrageous than frightening, though there was a disturbing undertone to the campy fun. The event definitely lives up to its self-imposed “18-and-over” rating.

Gorlesque runs 8pm to midnight on October 19-23, 26-30. Tickets are sold in 30-minute intervals. Guests should check in 15 minutes for their scheduled time. Prices are $30 for “Next Available Departure” and $40 for “Immediate Departure.”

The is 224. E 11th Street, Suite 501, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Street parking is available, but considering the area, that may be the most terrifying part of your journey to the Weltschmerz Institute – especially if you fear rats.

Get more info at the official website: gorlesque.com.

More in this series: 

  1. Halloween Report: Gorlesque Media Night
  2. Gorlesque Video Interview

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.