Directed by Roderick Taylor, INSTANT KARMA tells the story of a down-on-his-luck TV producer but doesn't offer its viewers much beyond impressive aerial photography and a few funny moments.
Zane (Craig Sheffer) is writer-producer of the TV show "Rock & Roll P.I." (the clips of the fictitious program are a delightful parody of cop shows). Although a successful young man, he's lonely and having a particularly bad week. First, he has a confrontation with the show's temperamental star,
Reno (David Cassidy of TV's "The Partridge Family" fame), on the set of the show. Next, Zane and his co-writer David (Glenn Hirsch) are pitching a script to producer Jon Clark (Marty Ingels). By the end of the meeting, Jon says he loves the story, but wants to change the script completely. And, to
top things off, Zane's accountant tells him that the IRS is planning to do an audit of his investments. However, while all of these disasters are happening, he does meet a nice actress, Penelope (Chelsea Noble).
Zane begins dating Penelope and things go smoothly. Then one afternoon while on the set, Reno gives Zane some tacky advice about women, and some drugs. Reno claims they're harmless pills which will relax him. Later that evening, Zane takes them while on a date with Penelope and begins acting
strange. Zane wakes up the next morning to discover that the pills were hallucinatory drugs and that he only imagined most of the evening's events. He immediately calls Penelope's place and a man answers the phone. Jumping to conclusions, Zane goes to see Penelope and throws a fit. Back at his
accountant's office later that day, Zane is told he owes half a million dollars in back taxes. He is also informed that Reno has been arrested for drug abuse and that the show is being cancelled. On his way home, Zane is in a near-fatal car accident. Accompanied by his faithful basset hound
Wolfgang, he walks all the way to Penelope's place and declares his love for her.
Although Zane is going through a difficult time and is the film's main focus, he comes off as merely boring and unsympathetic. In fact, every other character in the movie, including Wolfgang, seems fascinating in comparison. Screenwriters Bruce A. Taylor and Dale Rosenbloom are successful in
portraying Zane as a shy and somewhat nerdy individual, but have failed to make him very likable. This unfortunately adds to the overall slowness of the film, which often can't decide whether it's a comedy or a drama. Also, the intermittent scenes of Zane at his therapist Dr. Berlin's (Orson Bean)
office do little to entertain or provide any insight about the main character. In the final analysis, INSTANT KARMA is not only suffering from bad karma, but an identity crisis. (Profanity, sexual situations, nudity.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: Directed by Roderick Taylor, INSTANT KARMA tells the story of a down-on-his-luck TV producer but doesn't offer its viewers much beyond impressive aerial photography and a few funny moments. Zane (Craig Sheffer) is writer-producer of the TV show "Rock & R… (more)