There are people who find Linda Blair's career very odd. And it is, well, unusual. At 13 she was using blistering barracks language in "The Exorcist". And in subsequent movies she was raped, kidnaped, repossessed by demons, turned into a dipsomaniac and hijacked. And she's still just two months short of 20.

As one critic wrote: "She must sometimes wonder who she has to know to get out of this business."

"But think of it," she said earlier this month. "If I didn't play parts like those, what else could I do? Play someone's dreary daughter, all pony-tails and bubble gum?"

Well, she' got a point. Anyway, having just played a nice girl who's mad about horses in a new film called "Hard Ride Hank" she's not at all sure she wouldn't rather be back there among she rough stuff.

"Hard Ride Hank." She grimaced. "Isn't that the worst title you've ever heard?"

You play a nice girl in that?

"Yeah. It's what they call a heart-warming picture. Boy, is it ever heart-warming. A little too mild for my taste." She let out a shriek of laughter. When Linda Blair laughs, people come running. It's a cross between a howl and the cutoff gurgle of someone being garrotted. It's odd they didn't use it in "The Exorcist."

That stunning film, incidentally, is going to be re-released next year with an entirely new surround-stereo soundtrack. Director William Friedkin thinks it will be a whole new experience for audiences. By that he means if you were scared stupid before, now you'll be scared stupider.

Linda Blair goes to see the film every now and again.

"Each time I see it I react differently," she said. "It's probably a good thing I was only 13 when I made it. Now I listen to the language and think: 'Did I really say that?' I don't think I'd have done it if I'd been any other; I'd have been much too embarrassed."

She used the money from that film - and from every film she's done since - to support her horses. She has four, and they eat a lot. But they also win her prizes, for she's a national class horsewoman.

"I work for only one reason," she said, "to support my hay eaters. They're the main thing in my life."

She's excited about the reissue of "The Exorcist" with the new, more terrifying, soundtrack. And with a couple of other films on offer, next year is shaping up nicely.

Only one thing troubles her - the drug charges still pending against her in Florida. Arrested 11 months ago in Connecticut, where she lives, she was released on probation. "But they're still trying to get me in Florida," she said with a shrug. "It's a pity. It's my favorite state."