April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Yes.  It went down today.  Twelve of us entered The Hellmouth.  But only one walked away victorious!

I wasn’t the only one who dressed up for the event.  1st Assistant Director Grant Boyle puts on a show.  But nothing beats my chili socks.

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Our twelve contestants included Sudz “Suicide Sauce” Sutherland, Drew “The Extinguisher” Cohoe, and, last and least…

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Who was the only contestant not to reach the fifth and final round.

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Our grand prize = the coveted Hellmouth 2019 championship belt!

Two FIERCE competitors: Mackenzie “Mall Day, March 29, 2019” Lawrence, and Nancy “I’m New, Nice To Meet You” Asiamah-Yeboah (Who I was convinced was a ringer because she just happened to start on the production the day after the competition was announced.).

ROUND 1 = The Spicy Chips!

I’ve had these ghost pepper paqui chips before and, while spicy, they’re not overwhelmingly so.  The tricky part was chewing and swallowing all three in the 30 seconds allotted.  Note Drew (above) using tongs to extract them from the package.

ROUND 2 = The Spicy Pickle!

Not all that spicy at first…but it delivered some residual habanero heat.  Note Robbie David feeling the pain and ultimately tapping out.


Not too bad.  Before starting the countdown, Block 2 Director Sudz Sutherland asked whether we would be required to lick our plates clean.  Hellmouth Warden Naomi Ward unwisely put it out to the spectators who, of course, sadistically chanted back: “Lick the plate!  Lick the plate!”  Check out Nancy with the attitude after scoring multiple first place finishes.


These were pretty hot.  First up: Naomi distributing the wings.  Bottom two: VFX Supervisor Greg “Twisted Firestarter” Behranes and Locations’ Alan “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” Cosby.

THE PUNISHMENT: 1 teaspoon of Blair’s Mega-Death hot sauce

Last place finisher in Round 4 had to consume 1 teaspoon of Blair’s Mega-Death before moving on to the final round.  That, sadly (?), turned out to be Mackenzie.


Spicy and, to be honest, pretty horrible-tasting.  Still, check out the fierce determination.  Nancy (pictured slurping above) had the inside track and a clever strategy – that one of her fellow contestants ended up co-opting for the win. Note Grant feeling the burn.

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Drew and Naomi present Pete (center) with the championship belt – before he retired to the bathroom at basecamp for the rest of the afternoon.

Fortunately, our on-set medic, Basset, was on hand to dispense zantac to those in need.

I made a point of lining my stomach before the big event, consuming: a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with sriracha, a bowl of steel cut oatmeal, some dark chocolate, half  a protein shake, a cheeseburger with jalapeño bottle caps, and a side of fries.  In retrospect, I think it was actually a little too much lining as when it came time for the contest, I was STUFFED.

Finally, I think I figured out the key to winning next year = Eat faster!

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

Photos courtesy of Sam Godfrey, Ivon Bartok, and yours truly.

April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

I leave you with Akemi’s rendition of Bubba trying the merciless pepper of Quetzalacatenango – grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.

P.S. Thanks to Naomi Ward and her team for organizing the event!

11 thoughts on “April 5, 2019: Hellmouth 2019!

  1. Ha-ha-ha!!
    Looks and reads like loads of fun! The event appears to have been a huge success.
    I would not have survived round 1…
    Kudos to those responsible for the beautiful table and banner decorations! So much creativity! Great photos.
    Next time Joe, not so much prep for your stomach lining.


  2. I’m so glad everyone survived and no ambulances were called. Looks like a lot of fun and professionally organized. Your crew is so talented! I notice most of your taunting audience is female. That is where I would be… heckling you on… laughing at you crazy people. Thanks for sharing! (got any videos?) Grant looks SHARP.

  3. Ooo. On the edge of your seat stuff!
    Hope you don’t spend the rest of your weekend on the edge of your loo seat! 😳

  4. Oh my, sweating and red face, and fun. the one photo I saw looked like blue flame coming out of that one guys mouth, wow, you are all so brave, I am not getting near the hot stuff!! thanks for sharing!

  5. You survived! Not that there was any doubt. I mean, I’m afraid that my spicy food days are probably done anyway, but trying to push that down on top of your stomach-lining meal(s) would probably have straight out killed me.

    Speaking of things nearly killing me, my chest cold still lumbers on though I think it’s getting a little better. coughs violently

  6. Hot stuff! Yes, a good greasy cheeseburger and fries are good for stomach coating. Highly recommended before a night of binge drinking.

    Larry had a bottle of Blair’s, I think he kept it on the truck. I know I used the tiny skull in an art piece.

  7. I was just on line and saw an ad for the “Final 4” by Dos Equis. I think they were doing it at the Mall of America (MoA)-1/4 mile from my house. They had pictures of their product and a championship belt (shake the head moment). In seeing your above post they don’t have a clue. I have no interest even going to take the light rail train to US Bank stadium. Would rather watch A.Lemke’s hockey video posts with greater interest (as a native Minnesotan); in watching the Rookie I now understand on what show M.O’Neil learned those fighting moves. (She is good to watch any time)

  8. Hope the mighty 12 were able to recover, yikes. The next challenge has to be more reasonable; sour gummies? Bitter mellon?

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