Released direct to home video a few weeks before the April 15 tax deadline, TAX SEASON was sent to retailers accompanied by a cassette (produced in association with the firm Laventhol and Horwath) explaining the latest IRS rulings on the depreciation of tapes. Decide for yourself if that
sounds more entertaining than the movie's story, in which Allen Mills (Fritz Bronner) is a milquetoast accountant from Cleveland who dreams of glory when he purchases the Hollywood Tax Service, sight unseen, from loony Lionel Goldberg (Arte Johnson). As it happens, the storefront bookkeeping firm
is actually a cover for gambling and prostitution operations, leading to various merry mixups when Mills shows up in Hollywood to take control. But that's actually a subplot; the real action is set in motion when local fortune-cookie magnate Tagasaki (James Hong) hires the Hollywood Tax Service to
look over his books, then mistakenly sends Mills the records of his cocaine smuggling enterprise, rather than those of his legitimate cookie business. Tagasaki steals the books back before the accountant can show them to the skeptical police, and--to keep the plot lurching ahead--orders a hit on
the honest Clevelander. Luckily, Mills has an ally in Susan Quinn (Jana Grant), the villain's cuddly secretary, who warns him of her boss's intentions and, after a few chases, helps him break into Tagasaki's computer files. The smuggler has been concealing the cocaine in extra-large fortune
cookies, so Mills reroutes a shipment of the cookies to a public banquet in Tagasaki's honor. At the fete, Tagasaki tries to gather up all the incriminating snacks before anyone can discover the real nature of the fortune concealed therein, but one powder-filled cookie escapes. It's dramatically
broken open before the shocked dignitaries, and justice triumphs at last.
Had TAX SEASON stuck with the eccentric goings-on at the Hollywood Tax Service it might have been faintly amusing. But once the lame coke-smuggling story line takes over for good the film is a lost cause, even though the actors (especially Hong) work hard to energize the material. It doesn't help
that the anti-drug posturings contradict an earlier scene in which a doddering janitor suddenly becomes a hip dude after smoking generous amounts of reefer.
TAX SEASON is laudable mainly in that writer-director Tom Law avoids profanity and nudity, despite lots of jiggling female flesh early on. And although there is a plethora of Los Angeles area location shots, the filmmakers manfully refrain from including the magic words "Beverly Hills" in the
title. (Adult situations, sexual situations, substance abuse.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1990
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Released direct to home video a few weeks before the April 15 tax deadline, TAX SEASON was sent to retailers accompanied by a cassette (produced in association with the firm Laventhol and Horwath) explaining the latest IRS rulings on the depreciation of ta… (more)