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calling fill_rect() with a $dest_rect value of undef, causes a no-op - rather than filling the entire surface, as the doco states
$fill_rect = SDL::Video::fill_rect( $dest, $dest_rect, $pixel );
"This function performs a fast fill of the given SDL::Rect with the given SDL::PixelFormat. If dest_rect is NULL, the whole surface will be filled with color."