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Estonian cult classic 'Tulnukas' returns with sequel this April

Scene from the 2006 short film
Scene from the 2006 short film "Alien or: Valdis' Escape in 11 Chapters." Source: movie still

"Alien or: Valdis' Escape in 11 Chapters" ("Tulnukas ehk Valdise pääsemine 11 osas"), director Rasmus Merivoo's 20-minute thesis film, quickly became a cult classic in Estonia upon its release in 2006. This Wednesday, Merivoo announced the return of Valdis with a sequel in theaters April 1.

Announcing the sequel during the Estonian Film Institute (EFI) press day Wednesday, Merivoo said that "Alien or: The Return of Valdis in 17 Chapters" takes place 20 years after aliens abducted the titular character.

"Life in town has changed a lot in the meantime," he confirmed.

Rife with tracksuits and profanity, the original "Alien or: Valdis' Escape in 11 Chapters" was filmed by Merivoo as his final bachelor's thesis at Tallinn University.

"Alien" featured now seasoned actors including Ott Sepp and Märt Avandi, who had starred in the feature-length comedy "Malev" – likewise a cult classic – the year before.

Both movies, to a greater or lesser extent, are the source of several pop culture references and catchphrases used in Estonia. "Tulnukas" specifically cemented the use of the slang word "burks," short for hamburger or cheeseburger, in the Estonian language; the latter even went on to earn a spot in the 2018 edition of the Dictionary of Standard Estonian (ÕS).

Produced by Tallifornia ("Chasing Unicorns," 2019, "Kratt," 2020), the sequel will see several actors from the original reprise their roles, including Avandi and Sepp.

"Alien 2" ("Tulnukas 2") hits theaters in Estonia on April 1.

Watch the original "Tulnukas" with English subtitles below:

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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