Christina Pazsitzky doesn’t look like a goth girl today, but she was one once. Down inside, she still is, in some ways.
The Hungarian-Canadian-American comic is familiar to fans of “Chelsea Lately” and has a popular podcast with her husband Tom Segura, in addition to her own “That’s Deep Bro” podcast. She is still drawn to the edgy pop culture of her 1980s youth.
“I still like a lot of goth music, I’m embarrassed to say. Bauhaus. Joy Division. Everything stopped for me, like my music and fashion taste, when I was 15. I’m permanently stuck at 15 stylistically. Not emotionally.”
So a film with proto-goth overtones, Hal Ashby’s 1971 dramedy “Harold and Maude,” kicks off her short list of Cult Classic movies. Then she moves on to the brighter side with “Spaceballs” and “Earth Girls Are Easy.”
“I think there has to be something pure about the intention of the film for it to become a cult classic, even though there might be elements that are cheesy or weird.”
That’s certainly true of “Harold and Maude.”
“It is a movie that could not be made today, in 2017,” she says. “No executive would greenlight this movie, or any movies that I grew up on, frankly.”
“It was a time where people would be open to weird ideas, like a 79-year-old woman courting a young, 16-year-old? Let’s say 18, for legal reasons,” she quips.
She finds plenty of humor in the film’s themes of death, and some important life lessons, too. “There’s humor in death because it’s God’s cosmic joke, that we’re taking all this so seriously and God’s gonna get the last laugh on us anyways. So you may as well steal cars and smoke hookah pipes in a robe, and be weird, right? Get weird. That’s the whole point of ‘Harold and Maude.’ It’s just get weird, man.”
Mel Brooks’ “Star Wars” spoof “Spaceballs” isn’t as weird, but it’s transgressive. Many of Brooks’ jokes are too politically incorrect to get into a mainstream film today. Pazsitzky loved the movie as a kid, but today admires it for its craftsmanship.
“The best part about Mel Brooks is you’re gonna get intelligence and there’s no waste. It’s so efficient,” she says. “Everything is a setup or a punch. And you don’t always see that in comedies today. There’s a lot of nonsense and stuff like, ‘Whoa, we’re just acting. Maybe something funny happens.’
“It’s silly, too, and I don’t think that you can do silly so much today. I think people are way too cool for school to be as silly as Mel Brooks is.”
“Earth Girls Are Easy” is also on the silly side. “The weirdest,” she calls it. Julie Brown, though not exactly the movie’s star, is one Pazsitzky’s longtime favorites. “The weird ones were my inspiration, the Julie Browns of the world and the Janeane Garofalos, the outliers, the weirdos. I remember watching (Julie Brown) and being like, ‘Oh whoa, like that’s a girl and she’s being really funny. Like you can do that?’ It kinda blew my mind.”
To watch Christina Pazsitzky’s “Cult Classics” – “Harold and Maude,” “Spaceballs,” and “Earth Girls Are Easy” – as well as other movies like these, start your Tribeca Shortlist free, seven-day trial here.
*Titles subject to availability